Fire Engulfs Vacant Home on North Edison Street

by ARLnow.com August 17, 2010 at 4:59 am 2,387 13 Comments

Update at 12:20 p.m. — An arson dog found some sort of combustible substance in the house, TBD reports, but officials caution that it could take awhile for a state laboratory to examine the substance and draw any conclusions.

A fast-moving fire engulfed a home on the 2100 block of North Edison Street, near the Langston-Brown Community Center, early this morning. Initial reports suggest the home was abandoned, utilities were turned off, and nobody was inside at the time.

The blaze started on the porch around 3:30 a.m. and spread to the second floor. It took firefighters nearly an hour to extinguish the flames.

While the fire burned, residents as far away as Ballston reported smelling smoke.

The house was built in 1935 and is valued at $517,500, according to Zillow.com.

  • GK

    Smells of arson.

  • charlie

    the quality of development and building in High View Park would never be tolerated in other parts of the County (read: Clarendon).
    This part of our community is being destroyed by speculators.

  • Let’s Be Free

    This neighborhood is checkered with foreclosures, banks sales and short sales. See…


    Highview Park’s residents are being pushed out by artificially high assessments, which along with punishing increases in the Ad Valorem rate imposed by the County Board, result in tax burdens that the long-time citizens of this traditionally Black community cannot afford.

    Welcome to “Progressive” Arlington County where gentrification (preceeded by abandonment) trumps all.

    • Thes

      Why stop there? Let’s blame the entire national real estate crisis on the County Board for having the highest property tax rates in the region! Oh, wait, they’re actually the lowest in the region. Well, then I blame the County Board for causing a national real-estate bubble with their support for affordable housing! Yeah, that’s it! No, that’s not good enough. I blame Chris Zimmerman, personally, for causing the national re-estate boom with his mustache. Also, I agree the Board would *never* allow an arson in Clarendon, where Zimmerman lives. Oh, wait, he doesn’t live there. Um… I’m confused. Can you please explain why this fire is Chris Zimmerman’s fault, personally? We have it on every other thread, and we need it on this one! Did you know we don’t even *have* any other County Board members? Just the one. Barbara Favola, for example, is made entirely of CGI. Jay Fisette used to be a cardboard cutout but was recently upgraded to an animatronic robot. It’s very expensive to produce those computerized County Board meeting videos, though, which is why taxes have to be so low… I mean, so high… no, it’s property values that are high… we want lower property values! The County Board should ruin our community to lower property values! Oh, I mean Zimmerman should, since he’s the only Board member? Oh! I’m confused again! Anyway, the point is that the fire is Chris Zimmerman’s fault, personally, just like every pothole, stolen sign and bus accident. Please just tell us why. Thanks.

      • charlie

        Glad to see that Thes finally woke up and sees the light. Amen.

      • Let’s Be Free

        Affordable housing, would that be the basement apartments in Buckingham?

    • charlie

      Arlington is indeed forcing people on fixed incomes out. Not everyone has a nice big fat federal paycheck — or two. Arlington is the only jurisdiction in NOVA in which the tax burden (that is money paid, not the rate) on real estate INCREASED for 2010. Fat cats them all.

      • Thes

        Yes! Arlington HATES people with fixed incomes and wants them removed immediately! They are dirty and smelly and don’t give Chris Zimmerman’s secret handshake with enough firmness! This is one of the principal ways we get rid of those horrible fixed-income people with our tax policy:


        That and beating old people with sticks. (That’s Mary Hynes’ job.)

        • charlie

          @Thes, you need to chill my friend. Your use of the word “hate” is somewhat inflamatory. The tax relief provided by that program does not help most people and the requirements (despite being made more lax) still are absurd. One of my elderly friends, at the age of 75, has taken in a roomer to help ends meet. Of course it is a cash transaction.
          If you would stop screaming (if you are going to scream, just do it more graciously) you would understand that in the last ten years most people have DOUBLED their tax payment to Arlington without having done anything to their house. That is where the problem lies. Sure with a fat government paycheck maybe doubling of tax payments is okay, but most elderly people don’t get increases that keep up with inflation and continously increasing tax payments.
          Thes, it would be nice if you would be a bit more compassionate of those less fortunate than you.

          • 22205

            OK – and how much have the average assessments of residential property grown in that ten-year period? Taxes may have gone up (and not just in Arlington, of course) but I’d rather live here than in Montgomery County or Alexandria, let alone the crazy counties that have an allergic reaction to tax bills, like Loudoun and Prince William. Who in the region provides a better model for tax rates and use of tax dollars?

            I actually like the services I get for my taxes in Arlington, much more than the non-existent value I get back from the state of Virginia.

            And I think it’s great if seniors want to supplement their income by getting a housemate – it works for new families and singles, so why not seniors? The tax breaks offered by Arlington are more progressive than in a lot of other jurisdictions, but they aren’t intended single-handedly to make up for the lack of adequate social security income plus savings, and increases in health care, prescription, and utility costs, borne by retirees.

            People here are so quick to complain about everything in Arlington. I don’t know why you live here if things are so terrible, but you’re not making a very convincing case.

          • charlie

            i like arlington very well thank you. and i gladly pay my tax bill twice a year for my property and others that i own. it is easy for me to do and i’m glad to do it. you are right that we do have a great county and get good for our money.
            but not everyone is a dual income household with discretionary money. there are people in arlington who are on a fixed budget and the ever increasing tax burden is becoming a problem. we talk about affordable housing and we all subsidize a very generous program but there are people who are running out of money.

  • Tip

    ArlNow, you should look at the arson angle on this one. The ACFD brought in the fire marshall and a special unit from outside the county to investigate. They think it is very suspicious.

  • Lou

    When did we stop calling that neighborhood Hall’s Hill?


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