Busy Weekend for ACFD — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to a couple of big fires over the weekend. Two firefighters were injured while battling an apartment fire on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike; a resident tells ARLnow.com that the fire started when a resident fell asleep while cooking. Also on Saturday, Arlington firefighters assisted on a mutual aid call to battle a raging inferno at a McLean mansion owned by the United Arab Emirates. [WUSA 9, Connection Newspapers]
Carpool Bartender Profiled — “In an era where craft cocktails, celebrity chefs and ‘artisanal’ everything dominate the D.C. dining scene, it’s hard to find a watering hole where comfort comes in the form of a bottle of Bud, a basket of onion rings and a bartender who knows your name. But at Carpool in Arlington, Virginia, that is exactly what’s on the menu — at least for a few more weeks.” [WTOP]
County Board Pay Raise Proposed — The Arlington County Board this weekend will consider a proposal to raise its own pay by 3.5 percent. That would bring the salary for the County Board chairman to $56,628 and the salary for County Board members to $51,480. [Arlington County]
School Board Pay Raise Bill — The Virginia General Assembly has approved a bill that would lift the state-imposed $25,000 salary cap on Arlington School Board members. If Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs the legislation, School Board members will be able to raise their pay in 2021. [InsideNova]
Police Impound Lot Changes — The Arlington County Police Department has updated its procedures for people retrieving vehicles from the impound lot in Shirlington. [Arlington County]
Remembering Steve Buttry — Journalist Steve Buttry has lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 62. As Director of Community Engagement for TBD.com in 2010, Buttry had an outsized influence on ARLnow.com in its early days. He was a champion of local news and a tireless “advocate for and teacher of digital journalism and media innovation.” [The Buttry Diary]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Arlington firefighters are battling a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Wakefield High School.
The blaze was reported at a residential property the 1000 block of S. Dinwiddie Street just after 4:15 p.m.
The Arlington County Fire Department tweeted that it is dealing with “heavy smoke and fire” on the property. The fire broke out in the rear of a two story home and, as of 4:35 p.m., has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic.
Police have closed S. Columbus Street at Columbia Pike due to the large number of fire department vehicles in the area.
S. Dinwiddie St. pic.twitter.com/5qJ3PXSkmI
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) February 16, 2017
#Update: The fire has been knocked down. Units are checking interior for extension. Station fill-ins are being dispatched.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 16, 2017
#FinalUpdate: Fire has been extinguished. There is no extension. Units are picking up & going in service when ready. Command is terminated.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 16, 2017
The fire broke out in a garbage bin full of mulch and cardboard sometime before 8:45 a.m. today, according to scanner traffic. Firefighters pulled some of the material from the dumpster to hose it down.
Though the fire was contained to the dumpster, smoke from the blaze wafted into a nearby Chevy’s Fresh Mex restaurant.
That restaurant has had a tough week, it seems. On Tuesday, it was evacuated after higher-than-normal carbon monoxide levels were detected in the eatery’s kitchen.
Photo via Google Maps
Fire department units are being dispatched to the scene to investigate the source of the CO, according to scanner traffic. Washington Gas is also responding to the scene.
Initial reports suggest the higher-than-normal carbon monoxide levels were detected in the kitchen and possibly related to a water heater.
So far there’s no report of anyone becoming sick, though the restaurant’s kitchen workers are being evaluated by firefighters.
Photo via Google Maps
Highest Monday Wind Gusts — According to the National Weather Service, the highest wind gusts recorded in Arlington Monday, after the initial squall line came through Sunday night, were between 47 mph in Barcroft and 53 mph in Cherrydale. [National Weather Service]
Arlington Man Arrested for Bank Robbery — A 41-year-old Arlington man was arrested in D.C. Monday and accused of robbing the HSBC Bank at the corner of 14th and I streets NW. Police say the man passed the teller a note claiming to have a bomb, fled on foot with cash but was then detained by a pair of witnesses and held until police arrived. [Washington Post]
County Defends Property Purchase — Arlington County says it did not overpay by spending $800,000 to buy a house, assessed for $519,200, which was needed for the Fire Station No. 8 expansion project. The county says the owner of the home was not anxious to sell and, essentially, making them an offer they couldn’t refuse helped save time and effort compared to trying to use eminent-domain to try to acquire the property at a fair-market value. [InsideNova]
Kudos for Arlington’s Affordable Housing Plan — “Arlington has set ambitious goals to tackle housing affordability, in part by making it easier for developers to build affordable housing in the first place. According to a recent report, Arlington made plans for new affordable units and brought its number of homeless residents down last year even as rents and housing costs went up.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Registration Open for Girls Fire Camp — The Arlington County Fire Department is now taking applications for its 2017 Girls Fire Camp, which “gives teenage girls, ages 15-18, a chance to experience firsthand what it takes to be an Arlington County Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician.” The camp will take place from July 6-9. [Arlington County]
Nearby: No New Taco Bell in Alexandria — A proposed new Taco Bell restaurant on Duke Street in Alexandria, which neighbors worried could bring “late night riff raff” and cause traffic problems, will not be opening after all. The company has withdrawn its plans for the new location. [Washington Business Journal]
It’s an old cliche that firefighters rescue cats from trees. But furniture?
Apparently so: The Arlington County Fire Department was called to the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street for a couch that got stuck in a tree sometime this morning. Officials said the seat, a wicker sofa, could pose a public hazard.
Today’s unusually high winds apparently blew the furniture off of a roof deck at the nearby Clarendon Apartments. Firefighters pulled it down around 9:45 a.m., but not before snapping a few candid shots on their phones.
“Here’s your photo opportunity,” joked one Arlington County Police officer while taking a picture of his own.
The couch was last seen being hauled back into the apartment building.
As the minutes tick down to the start of the Super Bowl, more than 3,100 Dominion customers are currently without power in Arlington.
Dominion’s website says the cause of the widespread outage, centered around the Ballston and Bluemont neighborhoods, is “pending investigation.” Restoration of power is estimated between 7-9 p.m.
As the lights and traffic signals went out around Ballston, the fire department was called to investigate a possible fire at the under-renovation Ballston Common Mall. In the end it was determined to be a false alarm, possibly prompted by smoke from the mall’s rooftop generators as they kicked in.
Photo courtesy Katie Pyzyk
Police requested the bomb squad respond to the hotel, at 1400 Jefferson Davis Highway, just before 5:45 p.m. to investigate several suspicious packages. Additional fire department units were requested to the scene around 6 p.m.
Police were initially called to the hotel for a suspicious person.
“There was a report [that a] male subject was acting suspiciously,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “He had left the scene prior to police arrival.”
The man “left some packages behind in a hotel room,” Savage said. “In an abundance of caution, the ACFD Bomb Squad is going to investigate the packages.”
Update at 7:20 p.m. — The scene has been cleared, police said via Twitter.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) January 24, 2017
(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of an apartment fire in the North Highlands neighborhood, near Rosslyn.
The fire was reported on the 1600 block of 21st Street N., in the living room of a second floor apartment, just before 1:45 p.m.
The blaze was quickly extinguished. Firefighters located a dog that had been in the apartment and attempted CPR, but the dog was later pronounced dead, we’re told.
No person was inside the apartment at the time and no injuries were reported. Firefighters are currently ventilating smoke from the building and investigating the cause of the fire.
#Update Fire has been extinguished & contained to one apt. No injuries. Units remaining on scene to check for hot spots and clean up.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) January 23, 2017
UPDATE: command requesting animal control to respond to the scene, for one dog.
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) January 23, 2017
The call went out around 1:15 p.m., for smoke seen in or around the FDIC building at 1001 N. Monroe Street.
A full fire response was dispatched, but an investigation revealed only a minor smoke event, from a burned out fan motor.
Arlington County firefighters, including the hazmat team, responded to Washington-Lee High School this morning after air monitoring alarms indicated a possible refrigerant leak in the school’s boiler room.
ACFD was dispatched to W-L around 10:45 a.m. Firefighters investigated the alarms for more than an hour before concluding that there were no hazards, a fire department spokesman said.
The boiler room was ventilated during the incident response, but the school was not evacuated and no injuries were reported.
In the end, it was a malfunctioning alarm, not a hazardous leak, that caused the incident, said APS spokeswoman Jennifer Harris.
Current situation at Washington-Lee HS. pic.twitter.com/sIX8ONTon3
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) January 12, 2017
— Karen (@kbgut) January 12, 2017
ACFD Battles New Year’s Day Fires — The Arlington County Fire Department had a busy New Year’s Day. In the afternoon the department battled a fire in a duplex on the 2400 block of S. Nelson Street. That night numerous ACFD units assisted Fairfax County Fire in battling a high-rise apartment fire on S. George Mason Drive. [Twitter, NBC Washington, Twitter, Twitter]
Dorsey on Metro’s Service Hours — Arlington County Board member and WMATA Board member Christian Dorsey writes in a Washington Post op-ed that planned cuts to Metrorail’s late-night hours are painful but necessary. “These service cuts are necessary to protect our riders from the risk of injury or worse,” Dorsey wrote. “It is our ethical and public duty to take every reasonable step to ensure that we don’t harm Metro riders in the worst and most irreparable ways.” [Washington Post]
W-L Soccer Team to Be Lauded — The Virginia General Assembly is expected to approve a joint resolution saluting the Washington-Lee High School boys soccer team for winning its first state title last year. [InsideNova]
Wakefield Reaches Tourney Championships — Over the holiday break the Wakefield High School boys basketball team reached the championship of the George Long Holiday Hoops Tournament but fell to Glenelg Country. The Wakefield girls, however, beat Parkview to win the Parkview Classic tournament. [Washington Post, Wakefield Athletics, Twitter]
A FedEx tractor trailer pulled down some low-hanging power lines in the Ballston area Thursday evening, trapping the driver in the cab of the truck.
The accident happened just before 3:30 p.m., near the intersection of 13th Street N. and N. Stuart Street.
The top of the truck clipped some power lines as it was driving down the street, pulling them down and draping them across the semi-trailer. The lines were reported to be sparking on the road immediately afterward.
Though the driver was not physically trapped, he remained in the cab of the truck for fear of electrocution.
Arlington County police and firefighters responded to the scene, closing down roads and sidewalks while they waited for Dominion to shut off the power.
The driver was still in the cab when an ARLnow photographer left the scene, around 4 p.m.
Dominion reports that seven customers in the neighborhood are without power. Their electricity is expected to be restored between 7-11 p.m., according to Dominion’s website.
The restaurant at 4821 1st Road N., near Route 50, was initially reported to be filling with smoke due to a problem with its HVAC system. Firefighters arriving on scene said there was no active fire and that a haze inside was beginning to dissipate.
The smoke came from an overheated motor in the rooftop HVAC system, according to scanner traffic. No word yet on whether the incident will prevent Blooming Onion fans from getting their fix at dinner tonight.
Photo via Google Maps
One person was briefly trapped in a car after a two-vehicle wreck in the City of Falls Church this morning.
The crash happened around 9 a.m. at S. Washington Street and Maple Avenue, a tricky intersection that’s the site of a future pedestrian safety improvement project.
Arlington County and Fairfax County firefighters and medics responded to the scene and freed the trapped vehicle occupant. Two people were reported to be injured, though none of those injuries were said to be life-threatening.
Photos courtesy Andrew Pang/DC Metro Fire Photographers