(Updated at 7:05 p.m.)Two people were killed in a two-alarm blaze that engulfed a house on the 1900 block of S. Langley Street this afternoon.
The Arlington County Fire Department confirmed on Twitter that two occupants of the Nauck two-story house who had been unaccounted for more than an hour after the fire was reported were found dead. The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.
According to fire officials, the Arlington County Fire Department received multiple calls for a fire at approximately 3:39 p.m. Firefighters responded to the scene three minutes later to heavy fire and set up high-caliber streams to begin knocking the fire down. Some residents were outside the house and reported that there were occupants stuck inside when the firefighters arrived.
“Units made an aggressive push to search for occupants upon arriving on scene,” Deputy Fire Marshall Brian McGraw told ARLnow.com. “It took probably a good 12 to 15 minutes to knock the fire down just because of the size of the fire.”
“One firefighter was transported to MedStar Hospital with minor burn injuries on his hand, McGraw said. The fire is still under investigation and, as of 4:50 p.m., firefighters were still working through the house putting out “hot spots.” Firefighters from Alexandria and Fairfax County assisted ACFD with the emergency response.
Police are looking for someone who vandalized five vehicles with red spray paint Sunday morning.
The incident happened on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (series), 140309025, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 9:55 am on March 9, an unknown subject(s) sprayed the side of five vehicles with red spray paint. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of crime report, after the jump.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) An elderly woman was taken to the hospital after being injured in a bank robbery on N. Glebe Road.
The robbery happened around 11:20 a.m., in the Wells Fargo bank at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Lee Highway.
Police say two black males entered the bank, displayed a handgun, and ordered everyone inside to the floor. An 82-year-old woman was hurt when one of the robbers threw her to the ground while exiting the bank, said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
About 14 people were inside the bank at the time of the robbery, according to Sternbeck.
The men fled the scene with an undetermined amount of money and remain at large. The woman was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with minor injuries, Sternbeck said.
Surveillance photos courtesy of ACPD
The Arlington County Board is expected to approve easement acquisitions to the northwest and southwest corners of the intersection at its meeting Saturday, which will allow the county to widen sidewalks and install bus shelters at the intersection.
The easement acquisition is the first step of wide-scale improvements coming to the intersection. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2014, but there is no timeline yet, according to county Department of Environment Services spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman.
Among the changes coming to the intersection will be the installation of left-turn lanes on N. Glebe Road, four new bus shelters, and a new commercial entrance into the Rite Aid shopping center between Glebe Road and N. Albemarle Street. There will also be new streetlights, crosswalk markings and traffic signals installed.
The project is 50 percent designed and funded in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Photo via Google Maps
The incident happened around 11:00 Sunday night. Arlington Medic 109 was exiting a parking lot onto the 2400 block of S. Glebe Road, with lights and sirens blaring and a medical patient on board, when the driver observed a car approaching at a high rate of speed. The ambulance stopped but the driver of the approaching vehicle did not, and the car broadsided the ambulance, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton.
The driver of the car then fled on foot, Shelton said. He was later apprehended by police and transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.
The patient on Medic 109 was taken to the hospital by another ambulance, apparently unhurt by the collision, according to Shelton. The two paramedics were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, also uninjured.
“They were very lucky in that respect,” Shelton told ARLnow.com. “It was a very substantial impact.”
A police spokesman could not be reached to confirm which charges are being filed against the alleged hit-and-run driver. Until repairs can be made, Medic 109 will be replaced by a reserve medic unit from the fire department’s fleet.
Photo courtesy Robert Eversburg/ACFD
Reconfigured W. Glebe Road Intersection Considered — Arlington and Alexandria are considering moving the intersection of W. Glebe Road and S. Glebe Road in order to lessen congestion on Glebe near I-395. The proposal is now part of Alexandria’s long-range planning process. [Patch]
New Picnic Shelter for Lacey Woods Park — The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on an enhancement to Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive). The Board will consider awarding a $341,000 contract to reconstruct the park’s 100-person picnic shelter. [Sun Gazette]
Moran Decries Proposed Cuts to Food Stamps — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says a Republican plan to cut nearly $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will hurt low-income families and children and unemployed adults. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the plan by a vote of 217-210. In his weekly newspaper column, Moran wrote: “it is disheartening to find House Republicans wasting valuable time on efforts to reduce food availability for the hungry instead of addressing urgent issues facing our nation.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Arlington Girl Raises Awareness of Rare Disease — A 5-year-old Arlington girl, who just started kindergarten at Abingdon Elementary, is battling a genetic, degenerative mitochondrial disease for which there is no known cure. Ellie McGinn and her parents have launched a campaign to raise medical awareness of the extremely rare disease. [Washington Post]
A car smashed into the Health and Wholeness Personal Training Studio (2444 26th Road S.) near Shirlington on Saturday afternoon.
According to Health and Wholeness owner Nina Elliot, it’s at least the third time her building, which is at the corner of 26th Road and S. Glebe Road, has been struck by a car. Close to five years ago, before her business moved in, her leasing office said it was rammed in a similar way. Elliot said a firefighter at the scene told her another car crashed into it more than a decade ago.
“It’s dangerous for several reasons,” Elliot said. “Cars can’t turn from I-395 straight into the intersection. Buses will make a turn and constantly clip the curb. People are constantly getting pulled over for not coming to a complete stop. Cars will crash into a different curb, and when the sun sets you can’t see the signal.”
No one was in the studio when the crash occurred, Elliot said, counting herself lucky considering the car plowed right into an area of the studio in which her young son typically hangs out. The crash left the studio without a window and with several pieces of equipment destroyed or damaged.
“There needs to be some sort of barricade,” Elliot said. “We’re going to try to push for that.”
The driver of the car was taken to the hospital but a passenger turned down hospitalization, said Elliot. The studio was cleaned and boarded up and reopened for business the following day.
Photos via Facebook
Update at 7:50 p.m. — Officers entered the apartment and found a 37-year-old man dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to police. A Chihuahua that was in the apartment has been turned over to animal control. Units are clearing the scene.
Earlier: Police have surrounded an apartment building on S. Glebe Road, near Shirlington, after officers heard a gunshot from one of the apartments.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m., officers responded to the Twenty400 building (2400 24th Road S.) to check on the welfare of a man who had not shown up for work for several days. Upon making entry into the apartment, officers heard a gunshot, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. They immediately backed out of the apartment and called for additional resources.
The apartment complex has been at least partially evacuated. Arlington’s SWAT team and bomb squad are now on the scene, preparing to use a robot to look inside the apartment, Sternbeck said. Police negotiators are also on scene. They’re not sure whether this might be a case of a suicide, or a subject who’s barricaded in the apartment.
“We don’t know what we have inside at this time,” said Sternbeck.
Police and bomb squad units have staged around apartment building, blocking at least one lane on S. Glebe Road and causing some traffic backups. Drivers should expect delays in the area.
Photo courtesy Brian Ossip
(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Glebe Road has been temporarily closed south of Columbia Pike due to a gas leak.
Initial reports suggest a road construction crew struck an unmarked 2-inch gas line, rupturing it.
Police and firefighters have closed the stretch of Glebe between Columbia Pike and 12th Street S. to traffic while crews work to shut off the gas. There’s a strong smell of natural gas in the area, and pedestrians are being limited to one side of the street.
Drivers, particularly those heading northbound on Glebe, should expect delays in the area. Northbound drivers are advised to use Walter Reed Drive as an alternate route.
Police say they expect the road to remain closed until at least 4:00 p.m.
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) All lanes of N. Glebe Road were closed in the area of 16th Street, just north of Ballston, due to a moped accident.
Initial reports suggest that the victim crashed his moped after hitting the curb. Medics tended to the victim, who was reported to be unconscious.
No word yet on the victim’s condition. Glebe Road was reopened around 11:20 a.m.
An SUV overturned on 2nd Street S. near the intersection of S. Glebe Road this afternoon.
The crash, reported as a single-vehicle accident, happened around lunchtime today. The SUV overturned and came to rest on its roof.
One person was pulled out of the wreck and transported to the hospital, according to an Arlington County dispatcher. We’re told the vehicle has been towed away and the road has since reopened.
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) All lanes of Glebe Road have reopened at Route 50 following a three vehicle accident that shut down traffic for about half an hour.
Police say all lanes of southbound Glebe Road were shut down and only one lane of northbound is getting by.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the accident occurred on the overpass of Route 50. Two of the vehicles involved were blocking the southbound lanes and the third was in a northbound lane.
One person was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Part of what took a while to get the busy road reopened was the amount of debris strewn across the roadway due to the extensive damage to the cars. The police investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Photos courtesy of Arlington County Police Department
A car caught fire in the parking lot of the Buckingham Center strip mall Monday night.
The fire was reported just before 6:00 p.m., in the lot located on the northeastern side of the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Pershing Drive. The Honda CRV’s engine compartment was fully engulfed with flames, though it’s unclear what actually caused the fire.
The fire was eventually extinguished before it could spread to the rest of the car.
Photos courtesy @Hightweetts and “Tim”
Last week, workers began construction on the intersection of Glebe Road and N. Fairfax Drive. The improvements are part of a pedestrian safety improvement project along Glebe Road that will spread to the Wilson Blvd and Carlin Springs Road intersections later this year.
The upgrades include installing new traffic signals, pedestrian crossing signals, street lights and trees. The intersections will also be reconfigured to improve safety. For example, the pedestrian “pork chop island” will be removed in front of Marymount University’s “Blue Goose” building, according to Tom Hutchings, Capital Project Manager with Arlington’s Department of Enviromental Services Division of Transportation.
“It tightens up the crossing distances at each intersection,” he said.
The red light camera that monitors northbound Glebe Road traffic at Fairfax Drive will remain in use during construction. Although the timing of the traffic lights will not change immediately, it will be evaluated later and tweaked as necessary.
“The timing is continually analyzed with every project we do,” Hutchings said. “It will be studied upon completion of the new lane geometry to optimize the intersection.”
The new traffic lights that were strung over the intersection last week are temporary; the permanent lights will be mounted on upgraded poles with mast arms. The previous poles were based on standards from the 1970s and did not meet the electronic wiring and mast arm standards in the current codes.
The improvements at the three intersections are part of a $2.5 million VDOT project that is locally administered by Arlington County. About 80 percent of the funding comes from federal and state sources, and about 20 percent comes from the county.
Although a number of pedestrian-vehicle accidents have occurred along this stretch of Glebe Road in recent years, such as the deadly cab accident last July, the intersections have been the subject of extensive studies since 2000.
“It is precipitated from acknowledgement of the high level of pedestrian activity in the area,” Hutchings said. “It’s to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety along Glebe Road where a lot of development has occurred over the past 10 years, and pedestrian use of Glebe Road has increased.”
According to Hutchings, the addition of a bike lane for eastbound cyclists on Fairfax Drive occurred during an earlier phase of this project, as did the installation of traffic lights last year at N. 9th Street and N. Vermont Street.
Work on the Fairfax Drive intersection is expected to be finished by mid-June. The Wilson Blvd. intersection should be completed in August, and Carlin Springs in October.
The current Harris Teeter supermarket and Mercedes-Benz dealership near Ballston could eventually be replaced with high-rise buildings under a new land use plan that’s up for County Board consideration this weekend.
On Saturday, the Board will consider an addendum to its 1995 North Quincy Street Plan. The amendment modifies the plan for the area around the Mercedes dealership and adds a plan for a parcel of land bounded by Carlin Springs Road, Glebe Road, N. Thomas Street and the Hyde Park Condominiums. The latter parcel includes the Harris Teeter store and its surface parking lot.
The plan “includes a series of overarching planning principles aimed at transforming this predominantly auto-oriented area into a more vibrant, mixed-use urban neighborhood at Ballston’s southern gateway, with a much more pedestrian-friendly built environment,” according to the staff report. It calls for 12-14 story mixed-use buildings along Glebe Road, tapered down to 5-story buildings on the edges of the parcels closer to lower-density residential neighborhoods.
The plan also calls for ground floor retail space along Glebe Road, improvements to the Glebe Road intersections with N. Randoph and Quincy Streets, extensions of N. Tazewell Street and Randolph Street, a portion of open green space between N. Thomas Street and the new Tazewell Street extension, a landscaped plaza at the corner of Glebe and Quincy, and a series of “distinctive” architectural features.
No immediate changes would be mandated under the plan; instead, it would encourage gradual redevelopment through zoning modifications. Should a mixed-use building replace the existing Harris Teeter, the store may opt to move in to the ground floor of the new building once it’s built.
Part of the plan area is already slated for redevelopment — last year the County Board approved a new six-story apartment building on the Goodyear site at the corner of Glebe and N. Carlin Springs Road.
Work on the addendum started in 2009 as a joint project between county staff and Arlington’s Long Range Planning Committee. It incorporates feedback from the county’s Planning and Transportation commissions.
Some nearby residents, particularly residents of the Hyde Park Condominiums, have expressed objections to the plan. Among other objections, Hyde Park residents said that the maximum building height along Glebe Road should be 12 stories — the same height as their building — instead of 14 stories.
Image (below) via Google Maps