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TRAFFIC ALERT: I-395 HOV Lanes Blocked by Crash

A reported four-vehicle crash has completely blocked the HOV lanes of I-395 near Shirlington.

Police and firefighters are on scene, evaluating four people for possible injuries, according to scanner traffic.

Traffic cameras show northbound HOV traffic at a standstill past King Street.

Update at 12:20 p.m. — All lanes have reopened.

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Worker Injured at Ballston Construction Site

Arlington first responders teamed up with workers at a Ballston construction site to help a worker suffering a medical emergency this morning (Monday).

Fire and rescue workers were called to the scene of the large new development at 750 N. Glebe Road around 8:30 a.m., after hearing that a person on the site needed medical attention.

Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says first responders initially believed they’d need to perform a “technical rescue” to bring the person down from the construction site’s upper levels.

But he said that construction workers subsequently found “an equipment lift or an elevator,” giving first responders easier access to the patient.

O’Bryant says the person was taken to the hospital, but did not have any additional information just yet.

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ACFD Ambulance Bus Deployed to Daycare Gas Leak Investigation

Students at a Clarendon area daycare center are spending part of their morning on the Arlington County Fire Department’s mass casualty ambulance bus.

A fire department spokesman said the ambulance bus was dispatched to the 1200 block of N. Ivy Street, where firefighters are investigating a possible gas leak inside a building.

The block is home to NOVA KinderCare, a daycare center. The spokesman said the bus was deployed to keep children warm as firefighters investigate the reported leak and await the arrival of Washington Gas.

No injuries have been reported.

Update at 9:35 a.m. — The daycare building has been deemed safe to re-occupy, according to scanner traffic.

Photo via ACFD/Twitter

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BREAKING: Car on Fire After I-395 HOV Crash

The HOV lanes of I-395 is blocked due to a crash.

One of the vehicles involved in the crash caught fire, sending heavy black smoke and a column of flame into the air.

Firefighters are on scene and were able to quickly extinguish the fire. At least one injury has been reported.

Two left lanes of both the north- and southbound main lines of I-395 are blocked by the emergency response.

Update at 10:55 a.m. — Units are starting to clear the scene but the HOV lanes will remain shut down for an “undetermined amount of time” 

Updated at 11:55 a.m. — The HOV lanes have reopened.

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DEVELOPING: Fire at The Shell Apartments on Columbia Pike

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) Arlington and Fairfax firefighters responded tonight (Wednesday) to a fire at a mid-rise apartment building along Columbia Pike.

The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. at The Shell apartments at 870 S. Greenbrier Street.

A small fire was reported in an apartment on the fourth floor and was controlled by sprinklers, according to the Arlington County Fire Department. While the fire itself did not cause much damage, water from the sprinklers has caused flooding in a number of apartments.

The Full Circle Montessori pre-school in the building also reportedly has some water damage, though the extent of the damage is thus far unclear.

Fire commanders have requested that the Red Cross respond to the scene to assist at least more than a dozen residents who will be displaced — right before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Shell was built and is managed by nonprofit affordable housing developer AHC Inc. It was completed in 2015.

Photo (2) via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Worker Rescued from Memorial Bridge — A man working on the Memorial Bridge rehabilitation project was injured this morning and transported to the hospital via fireboat and then ambulance. The injuries were reported to be non-life-threatening. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

More Worries About Real Estate Prices Post-Amazon — “Amazon’s possible arrival in Northern Virginia and Queens, New York, has already sent shockwaves through surrounding real estate markets. Mara Gemond, a longtime Arlington, Virginia, realtor… Crystal City — until news broke that Amazon might be splitting its 50,000-employee second headquarters between there and Long Island City in New York. All of a sudden, the two-bedroom condo in a 1980s-era building that had been sitting on the market for nearly three months with no offers, even after a price cut, had a flood of interest.” [CNN, Washington Post, ARLnow]

Metro Closure Causes DCA Gridlock — The closure of the Crystal City and National Airport Metro stations prior to Friday’s evening rush hour, amid a rush to get out of town for the holiday weekend, caused gridlock around the airport, the GW Parkway, Route 1 and other nearby roads. Arlington County Police were dispatched to the area to help with traffic control. [NBC 4, Twitter, Greater Greater Washington]

Chamber Welcomes Amazon — Among those welcoming Amazon to Arlington is the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. “This addition to Arlington is a significant step toward enhancing and maintaining the strength of Arlington’s commercial sector and diversifying our economic base,” the Chamber said in a statement. [Arlington Chamber]

Restrictions for West Glebe Road Bridge Traffic — “A routine inspection of the bridge on West Glebe Road at South Four Mile Run has uncovered deterioration, which will require a vehicle weight restriction of 5-tons, and closure of the sidewalks in both directions. Because safety is the priority, the restrictions are effective immediately.” [Arlington County]

Marymount U Prez Dances with Local Stars — “Dr. Irma Becerra has many accomplishments to her name. Dancing is not one of them, but D.C.’s Dancing Stars Gala could soon change that. Marymount University’s new president is one of eight local celebrities who will vie for $10,000 [this past] Saturday when the annual fundraising competition is held at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.” [Fairfax News]

Arlington Resident Buys Airline — Sanford Rederer, a resident of North Arlington and Sarasota, Florida, has purchased Florida-based Island Air Charters. [Business Observer]

Pictured above: Crystal City as it once was — building and wayfinding sign in 2011 (Flickr pool photo by Chris Reed)

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Fire Station 7 in Fairlington to Shut Down Temporarily Due to ‘Structural and Safety Concerns’

Fire Station 7 in Fairlington will soon shut down temporarily and its firefighters will relocate elsewhere, due to some structural concerns at the property.

Arlington County’s fire department announced the move yesterday (Thursday), reassuring Fairlington and other South Arlington residents that other firefighters near the station (located at 3116 S. Abingdon Street) will continue serving the area during the closure.

The fire department says the trouble stems from the “apparatus bay floor” of the station, where fire engines are housed inside the building. Whenever firefighters would pull an engine into or out of the station, the county says crews heard noises that convinced them to undertake an engineering investigation — particularly because some of the crew’s living quarters are located directly beneath the area in question.

That closer look at the concrete convinced the fire department to move its crews elsewhere, for now.

“First, the floor was built many decades ago and was not designed to handle the weight of modern fire engines, which has almost doubled since the station was built,” the fire department wrote in a blog post. “Second, with the additional weight, engineers found that the steel and the concrete structures of the flooring were no longer working in unison to support the load. The noise the crews heard was the concrete and steel in the floor rubbing against one another as they were flexing at different rates.”

With the onset of some colder temperatures, firefighters don’t feel comfortable simply storing fire engines outside, so crews working out of Fire Station 7 will move to Fire Station 4 in Clarendon (3121 10th Street N.) as work continues.

The fire department expects it will need a month or two to complete a “more thorough inspection of the concrete slab,” and then expects to identify some “possible fixes” for the station.

Until then, the county expects to rely on Fire Station 9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Drive), two stations in Alexandria and one in Bailey’s Crossroads to serve the area.

“The fire department is committed to providing high-quality and dependable service to Arlington residents,” Acting ACFD Fire Chief Joseph Reshetar wrote in a statement. “The proximity of Fire Station 9 and our mutual aid agreements with Alexandria and Fairfax County will ensure that Fairlington continues to receive thorough fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) coverage.”

Crews at Fire Station 7 will officially move out this coming Tuesday (Oct. 30).

Photo via Google Maps

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BREAKING: Condominium Building Fire in Rosslyn Area

(Updated at 8:55 a.m.) Firefighters battled an condo building fire in the Rosslyn area Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 1 p.m. at a large four-story residential building on the 1400 block of N. Rhodes Street, sending dark smoke billowing into the sky.

The fire was in an upper floor apartment. A second alarm was sounded but the first wave of firefighters were able to bring the flames under control by the time additional units started arriving on scene.

No injuries have been reported. At least one lower level unit suffered significant water damage, according to scanner traffic.

N. Rhodes Street is closed between Clarendon Blvd and 14th Street N. due to the emergency response. The Arlington Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the blaze.

Photos via social media:

Photo (1) courtesy @mlewan3, (2) via Google Maps

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DEVELOPING: Courthouse Truck Crash Leads to Fuel Spill

A delivery truck crash in Courthouse led to a small fuel spill affecting county waterways as far away as Roosevelt Island.

The accident happened around noon today along the 2100 block of 14th Street N., according to the county fire department. No one was hurt in the crash.

The crash caused some fuel to spill out of the truck, and though county firefighters initially believed none of it made into the sewer system, crews have since been dispatched to Roosevelt Island to try and contain it.

Workers there detected “fuel odor and minor fuel sheen” and are currently working with other first responders to keep the fuel out of the water there.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Gets a New Fire Chief — David Povlitz won the job as the county’s new fire department chief, after James Bonzano retired this summer. Povlitz currently works as an assistant chief in Alexandria, and spent 22 years in Anne Arundel, Maryland’s fire department. [Arlington County]

Arlington Home Values Dip Slightly — The median price of home sales in Arlington County dipped by about 1 percent last month compared to the same time period a year ago, according to new stats. Prices rose slightly in the D.C. region as a whole, though the pace of sales slowed and there were fewer homes on the market. [WTOP]

Civic Federation Backs Park Bond — It took a lengthy meeting and a bit of squabbling, but the Arlington COunty Civic Federation is supporting the $30.3 million bond for parks projects on the ballot this fall. The group did not offer its support for the other bonds on the ballot, however. [InsideNova]

Lee Highway-W&OD Trail Bridge Meeting Tonight — State transportation planners will unveil final designs for the new bridge at Yorktown High School tonight. The bridge is designed to replace the trail’s current crossing at the highway’s intersection with Fairfax Drive. [VDOT]

Rosslyn Cider Fest Delayed — Organizers of the annual celebration of cider are pushing back the event a week to Oct. 18, over fears of inclement weather. [Rosslyn BID]

Trick or Treat at the Pentagon City Mall — Kids can head to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Halloween from 5-7 p.m. and snag goodies from select retailers. [Fashion Centre at Pentagon City]

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Morning Notes

Arlington Losing Big Office Tenant — “BAE Systems Inc. is moving its headquarters to Falls Church as part of a consolidation of its Northern Virginia office space… The move will also further ding Arlington County’s office vacancy rate, which at the end of 2017 was 20.6 percent.” [Washington Business Journal]

Hazmat Situation at Kaiser Permanente — Arlington County firefighters responded to a hazardous materials incident at Kaiser Permanente in Falls Church yesterday. Five people were evaluated by medics and, of them, two were transported to the hospital. [WJLA, Twitter, Twitter]

Red Top Development Groundbreaking Nears — “The Shooshan Co. has teamed up with Trammell Crow Residential on the first phase of its planned Red Top Cab site redevelopment in Clarendon, with groundbreaking slated for early next year. The partners closed Sept. 29 on their acquisition from The Red Top Cab Co. founder Neal Nichols of several parcels along Irving and Hudson streets for a listed consideration amount of nearly $28.2 million, according to Arlington County’s Recorder of Deeds.” [Washington Business Journal]

RIP Lance Newman and Tim Wise — Two notable Arlingtonians have died: “Tim Wise, the longtime president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, died Friday in Fredericksburg after a 10-month battle with cancer and heart trouble… Lance Newman, one of four black students who in February 1959 began attending a previously all-white middle school in Arlington… had died after a short illness.” [InsideNova]

ACSO Launches Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign — “Breast cancer hits close to home for the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, which has launched a campaign to raise awareness about early detection and preventative care. Over the last six years, two employees at the county’s sheriff’s office have been diagnosed with breast cancer.” [WUSA 9]

Forum Planned to Discuss Accessory Dwellings — “A forum looking at current regulations related to accessory-dwelling units in Arlington will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Central Library. Speakers will discuss how changes made to the county’s housing ordinances in 2017 impact the regulatory process, and will look at whether further changes are needed.” [InsideNova]

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Scooter Rider Injured in Ballston

A man on a scooter fell and was injured after suffering an apparent medical emergency while riding.

The incident happened around 3 p.m. on Fairfax Drive near the Ballston Metro station.

A witness said she saw a man and woman riding Bird scooters down the street when the man started having what appeared to be a seizure. He fell onto the pavement and started foaming from the mouth, while his companion yelled for passersby to call 911, according to the witness.

Firefighters responded to the scene and the man was quickly put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. He was conscious and talking to first responders, witnesses said.

A firefighter cleared both of the scooters from the Fairfax Drive bike lane as the man received medical treatment. One lane of traffic was blocked by the emergency response.

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UPDATE: Firefighters Extinguish Blaze at Ballston IHOP Overnight

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the Ballston IHOP restaurant early this morning (Wednesday).

The fire started around 2 a.m. at the eatery, located at 935 N. Stafford Street. No one was hurt as a result of the blaze, which crews were able to put out within half an hour of arriving on scene.

The fire marshal’s office is still investigating what started the fire, but smoke initially was seen coming from the roof of the restaurant.

The restaurant was closed as of 3 p.m. today and fire department investigators were still on scene. No one answered IHOP’s phone line Wednesday morning.

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Video: Firefighters Extinguish Rosslyn Dumpster Fire

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) Firefighters tackled a dumpster fire in Rosslyn near the Target store earlier today.

The fire broke out this morning behind a building on the 1500 block of Wilson Blvd. It scorched a big green dumpster before being extinguished by firefighters from nearby Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

In a tweet, the Arlington County Fire Department encouraged residents to reconsider throwing hot objects (like lit cigarettes) into the trash.

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Car Runs Into Ditch Along Four Mile Run Drive

A car ran into a wooded embankment near the intersection of S. Four Mile Run Drive and Columbia Pike this morning.

The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. on the 4600 block of S. Four Mile Run, behind a parking lot for The Carlton Condominium. A dark-colored sedan drove over a bike path and into the woods along Four Mile Run.

Firefighters stabilized the vehicle and helped the driver get out. No serious injuries were reported.

No word yet on how, exactly, the crash happened. A similar crash happened on the opposite bank of Four Mile Run in early September.

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