Mercedes Catches Fire After Lightning Strike — An Arlington man’s beloved Mercedes 430 CLK convertible was “burned to a crisp” Monday night after a lightning strike. The lightning apparently struck a power pole, which then fell over. A sparking power line ignited the Mercedes. [Washington Post]
Arlington Honors 16 Trees — The Arlington County Board recognized 16 “Notable Trees” around the county at its meeting yesterday afternoon. During the 10-minute ceremony, details about each tree were read individually as the tree’s owner came up to the front of the room to collect a plaque or certificate. Of the 16 trees, 14 are located in north Arlington and only 2 are located in south Arlington. [Arlington County]
Shirlington Apartment Building Loses Power — Io Piazza, an upscale apartment building in Shirlington, had been without power for more than 24 hours as of last night. An underground transformer that serves the building failed during Monday’s thunderstorms. [Patch]
Year-Round Gift Wrapping at Pentagon City Mall — Starting May 8, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City will be offering year-round complimentary gift wrapping service. The service is available for purchases of $250 or more at luxury stores. Previously, the service was only offered during certain holidays.
Fmr. Treasurer Endorses Fallon — Frank O’Leary, who retired as Arlington County Treasurer last year, has endorsed Peter Fallon for County Board. “Peter Fallon is a mature, thoughtful, fiscally responsible candidate with an amazing grasp of the issues that confront our county,” O’Leary said in a statement. “I enthusiastically support his approach to improving Arlington.” [InsideNova]
Cristol Published Buzzfeed Listicle — County Board candidate Katie Cristol has published a Buzzfeed listicle, complete with animated GIFs, highlighting “7 Reasons to Vote in Arlington Virginia.” Among the reasons are “housing is getting less affordable,” “over 50% of Arlington is under 35,” “women need a strong voice in Arlington” and “it’s fun.” [Buzzfeed]
A large truck caught fire on Route 50 tonight.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m., in the westbound lanes near George Mason Drive. Westbound traffic was diverted prior to the fire.
According to a witness who captured a Vine video of the fire, the truck was a snow plow.
— Kelly (@idontlooksick) February 22, 2015
Update at 10:25 a.m. — One southbound lane of Route 1 has reopened, according to Arlington County. A tow truck is on scene and all lanes are expected to reopen shortly.
An RV has caught fire on southbound Route 1 in Crystal City, causing police to shut down the southbound lanes to traffic at the tail end of this morning’s rush hour.
The fire started just before 9:00 a.m., according to scanner traffic, on the highway near the intersection with 15th Street S. The Arlington County Fire Department and Virginia State Police were the first responders to the scene.
According to ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani, three people were inside the RV when the fire started, but they all escaped the vehicle safely and no injuries were reported. The fire is believed to have been caused by a mechanical failure in the engine block, Marchegiani said.
“The driver didn’t notice the fire at first, just that the car was acting funny and he smelled smoke,” Marchegiani told ARLnow.com. “They happened to pass by a Virginia State Police officer who saw that the car was on fire and flagged them down.”
The roadway will remain closed temporarily. Drivers should avoid the area if possible.
Update at 3:40 p.m. — Two westbound lanes of Route 50 have reopened.
The westbound lanes of Route 50 are shut down just past Courthouse Road due to a vehicle fire.
The fire has been extinguished but smoke can still be seen coming from the vehicle.
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) A Ferrari crashed and caught fire on the GW Parkway this morning, prompting an emergency response that then led to an accident involving a fire department vehicle.
The first wreck happened around 9:30 a.m., in the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway under I-66, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.
The Ferrari lost control on the rain-slicked road and struck the bridge, coming to rest on the side of the parkway. The Ferrari then caught fire, quickly becoming fully engulfed before the flames were extinguished by firefighters. The driver was uninjured, according to Marchegiani.
Just past 10:30 a.m., a pickup truck rear-ended an Arlington County Fire Marshal’s truck that was stopped in the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway, adjacent to the first wreck. A third vehicle was also hit but no injuries were reported, Marchegiani said.
The dual wrecks shut down lanes and caused major backups for GW Parkway commuters. Two trucks are currently on scene to haul away the vehicles involved.
Video (above) courtesy David Johnson. Photos (below) courtesy @Chief288.
Initial reports suggest a minivan caught fire on the 4th level of the parking garage at Sequoia Plaza (2100 S. Washington Blvd). The flames have since been extinguished, according to radio traffic.
Sequoia Plaza houses the county’s Dept. of Human Services.
A vehicle caught fire in the Hall’s Hill neighborhood this afternoon.
The fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. in the area of N. Dinwiddie and 22nd Streets. A thick plume of black smoke was spotted from around the area as the blaze consumed what appeared to be a pickup truck in a residential driveway.
Firefighters arrived quickly to extinguish the flames, according to a witness. No injuries have been reported.
Photo courtesy of @KenHagemann
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”
Joshua Weissman, 33, was on the scene of a vehicle fire on I-395 near Shirlington when he fell through a small gap between the northbound and HOV lanes, on the bridges over Four Mile Run. The Bristow resident, a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, fell into the creek below and was knocked unconscious.
Weissman was extricated from the water by rescuers from Arlington and Alexandria, and was rushed via ambulance to Washington Hospital Center. In the end, however, Weissman’s severe head injury was proved to be fatal.
The Alexandria Fire Department is providing counseling for its personnel and for the Weissman family, including his wife. The couple did not have children. Weissman was based out of Alexandria’s Seminary Road fire station.
Update at 7:30 p.m. on 2/9/12 — The victim, paramedic Joshua Weissman, has succumbed to his injuries.
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) An Alexandria paramedic fell about 30 feet from I-395 into Four Mile Run while responding to a call near Shirlington tonight.
Just before 6:30 p.m. emergency crews were called to I-395 near Shirlington Circle for two separate incidents: a three-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes and a vehicle fire in the HOV lanes, according to Virginia State Police
An Alexandria paramedic responding to the call stopped in the northbound lanes, alongside the HOV lanes, in an effort to reach the burning vehicle. We’re told the paramedic somehow fell through a small gap between the guardrails, between the northbound lanes and the HOV lanes, and landed in the creek. The gap is visible in the photos above.
The medic has been identified by police as 33-year-old Joshua Weissman, a seven year veteran.
Rescuers from Arlington and Alexandria were able to reach Weissman and extricate him from the water. CPR was performed, according to fire radio traffic. He was taken downstream to S. Cleveland Street and then transported via ambulance to Washington Hospital Center with what Thiel described as critical injuries. Authorities initially wanted to airlift the Weissman to the hospital, but were not able to due to the rainy weather, we’re told.
The northbound HOV lanes of I-395 were shut down for an extended period of time during and after the incident. As of 10:30 p.m., three lanes of northbound I-395 remained closed and traffic before the scene was still heavy.
The vehicle fire, meanwhile severely snarled traffic on southbound I-395 during the latter part of the evening rush hour. All HOV lanes were closed for at least a half hour during the fire response.
As of Thursday afternoon, Weissman was still in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Virginia State Police say they’re continuing to investigate the accident.
Photo (above, right) via Google Maps
A taxi van caught fire last night in the middle of a Ballston-Virginia Square area intersection.
The fire broke out just before 7:30 p.m. in the intersection of 9th Street and N. Pollard Street. Firefighters quickly arrived on scene and extinguished the blaze.
Photos courtesy Justin C. and @zippychance
For the second time this fall, a car has burst into flames in the parking lot adjacent to Northside Social in Clarendon.
A gray sedan caught fire in the lot just after 2:00 this afternoon. An Arlington County fire marshal spotted the blaze and was the first to call for a fire engine. The flames were extinguished by 2:15, according to witness accounts.
Unlike the car fire in September, which occurred on the end of the lot closest to George Mason University’s Arlington campus, this fire occurred on the end closest to Northside Social (3211 Wilson Boulevard) and the Clarendon business district.
No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze.
Photos courtesy @miqci
A car caught fire in a Clarendon parking lot around 4:00 this afternoon.
The car was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived on the scene, near the intersection of Fairfax Drive and 10th Street N. Thick black smoke could be seen rising into the sky around the Clarendon and Virginia Square area.
Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. There were no reports of injuries. No word yet on a cause.
Photo courtesy Rebecca Cooper
Car on Fire on I-395 — A car caught fire on southbound I-395 near Boundary Channel around 9:30 last night. The car was fully-engulfed by the time firefighters arrived on scene. No injuries were reported
Sun Gazette: Thumbs Down to Board’s ‘Walmart’ Action — The County Board’s last-minute, unannounced vote at the end of its final meeting before the summer recess is getting a “thumbs down” in the opinion pages of the Sun Gazette. The Board voted to advertise hearings on a zoning ordinance amendment that would prevent large-format retailers like Walmart from building a store without prior Board approval. “County staff so far have been unable to explain what the rush is – they want to get this approved by the County Board later in the month – and exactly what problem they are trying to solve,” the paper opined. [Sun Gazette]
School Board Challenger Drops Out — Independent Green candidate for school board Andrea Ochoa has withdrawn from the race, according to Arlington elections officials. Incumbent Democrat Abby Raphael will now run unopposed.
Street Sign Mistakes — Typos happen, including on street signs in Arlington. Among the examples: “22rd Road,” “Chian Br. Road” and an unspecified misspelling of “school” on a parking sign. [Falls Church News-Press]
Photo courtesy of @cmags44
The car, said to be a Volkswagen bug, was fully engulfed between I-66 and the entrance ramp from Lee Highway when firefighters arrived on the scene, just before 8:45 p.m.
The fire was quickly extinguished, but not before causing a backup. All lanes of eastbound I-66 were blocked for a time.