Arlington, VA

(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) Residents have been evacuated from homes in the Rock Spring neighborhood due to a “major outside gas leak.”

Williamsburg Blvd is currently closed between George Mason Drive and N. Harrison Street, near Williamsburg Middle School.

Initial reports suggest that workers digging up part of Williamsburg Blvd struck a large, 12-inch gas line. A crew from Washington Gas is on scene working to stop the leak.

“Residents closest to the leak will be evacuated,” the Arlington County Fire Department said. “Only evacuate if required to do so by firefighters.”

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Amazon Buys Hotel Next to HQ2 Site — “Amazon.com Inc. has purchased the Residence Inn by Marriott in Pentagon City with plans to demolish it and expand its second headquarters, the company tells the Washington Business Journal. Acorn Development LLC, an Amazon subsidiary, paid $148.5 million for the building and its 1.5-acre site at 550 Army Navy Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]

Trail Roundabout Now In Use — A new roundabout along the Custis Trail is now in use, improving safety at a formerly hazardous T-intersection in Bon Air Park. [Twitter]

Changes for Missing Middle Housing Study — “Staff from the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) presented to the County Board a revised Missing Middle Housing Study Scope and Charge, which was shaped by community feedback and informed by research.” [Arlington County]

Optimists Now Meeting in Person — “While many other service organizations across Northern Virginia have curtailed operations or moved to an online-only presence due to the public-health situation, the Optimist Club of Arlington is back with in-person meetings. The local club… resumed its twice-monthly meetings in July at Washington Golf & Country Club, with appropriate precautions.” [InsideNova]

Robo Mower Snatched, But Then Returned — “Though not a tale of high crimes and misdemeanors, the brief disappearance Tuesday morning of ‘Shultzy’ the robotic AutoMower caused a degree of excitement for one Maywood family.” [Patch]

ACFD Touts First ‘Whole Blood’ Use — “Crews responded for a person that suffered serious injuries after a long fall on Monday. Medics quickly administered whole blood, helping to stabilize the patient’s vital signs. This was the first use of our innovative whole blood program implemented earlier this month.” [Twitter]

Today: Virtual Pike Progress Luncheon — “Support our community with this year’s virtual ‘luncheon’ benefit! While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Columbia Pike, the region and indeed the world, our community is still strong.” [ARLnow Events, CPRO]

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Morning Notes

About Last Night’s Flyover — The two fighter jets that flew low and loud over Arlington last night, startling many, were participating in a flyover for the dedication of the new Eisenhower Memorial in D.C. [Twitter, Twitter]

Big Crane Coming to Amazon HQ2 Site — “There will be tower crane erection work this weekend, starting at 5 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 and 7 a.m. on Sunday, September 20. Work will be completed no later than 9 p.m. each day.” All southbound traffic on S. Eads Street will be detoured. [Twitter]

No PARK(ing) Day — “Arlington County will not be hosting annual PARK(ing) Day events tomorrow due to COVID-19 precautions. But feel free to imagine the possibilities of drab, curbside asphalt turned into unique community spaces.” [Twitter]

Barr Speech in Arlington Makes News — “Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that the Justice Department has recently acted ‘more like a trade association for federal prosecutors than the administrator of a fair system of justice’ and equated some prosecutors to preschoolers and ‘headhunters’ […] in a speech at Hillsdale College’s annual Constitution Day Celebration, which this year was held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.” [NBC News]

New Fire Engines for ACFD — “The Arlington County Fire Department recently took delivery of two new Pierce Manufacturing pumpers, which went into service with Engine 105 and Engine 109. The twin pumpers have a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and carry 750 gallons of water and 30 gallons of firefighting foam.” [InsideNova]

Virtual Award Gala Next Week — “Please join us for the 2020 Spirit of Community celebration on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM. This year, the Arlington Community Foundation will be honoring Arlington’s front-line human service workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic with the 2020 William T. Newman, Jr. Spirit of Community Award.” [Arlington Community Foundation]

Fairlington 5K Goes Virtual — “Having canceled its traditional event in April, organizers of the Fairlington 5K have announced plans for a ‘virtual’ race on Saturday, Oct. 3. Participants will have one week to compete in the event, which will support Fairlington resident Ellie McGinn, a young girl born with the rare brain/spinal cord disorder LBSL. Additional funds raised from the event will support Abingdon Elementary School.” [InsideNova]

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The Arlington County Fire Department is taking new measures that could help save some critically injured or ill patients.

The department announced yesterday that it is rolling out a new “whole blood” program this month, in which medics will be trained to administer blood transfusions in the field for people suffering life-threatening bleeding.

The blood will be carried in climate-controlled compartments in EMS supervisor vehicles — the fire department SUVs with the Caduceus on the side.

By administering blood in the field, patients will receive critical care for blood loss significantly faster, ACFD said, noting that it can otherwise take up to 30-45 minutes to receive blood when a patient is transported to the hospital. The department says that 20-30 people per year are likely to benefit from field blood transfusions in Arlington.

The program is being rolled out to other Northern Virginia fire departments, as well. Public safety officials, meanwhile, are urging residents to give blood to ensure the region has an adequate supply.

More from ACFD:

Beginning this month, the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) will carry whole blood as part of a regional EMS initiative to bring lifesaving treatment to patients with major, life-threatening bleeding before arriving at the hospital.

ACFD estimates that 20-30 people per year in Arlington County will benefit from this treatment.

Life-threatening bleeding, such as from trauma or other medical ailments, is usually treated by rushing patients to the hospital to receive a blood transfusion. This transport of patients can delay treatment for the blood loss for upwards of 30-45 minutes in some instances.

Recent research has shown that not only is whole blood more beneficial for the patient than blood that has been split into components, but also that early administration is better for critical patients who need blood. Previously whole blood was only available on medevac helicopters.

Developed by a regional coalition of EMS experts from the Arlington County Fire Department, Loudoun County Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, and the Northern Virginia EMS Council, and partnering with Inova Blood Donor Services, the EMS field whole blood program will allow ACFD paramedics to administer this lifesaving treatment within the first few minutes of arrival at the patient’s side.

The Northern Virginia region will be the second EMS regional coalition to develop this program nationally and the first on the East Coast.

“The field whole blood program represents cutting edge EMS treatment and utilizes the most recent medical research and lessons learned from the military,” said Dr. E Reed Smith, the Arlington County Fire and Police Department Operational Medical Director. “With more than 2.5 million people in the Northern Virginia region, this is one of — if not the — largest field administered whole blood program in the nation.”

Dr. Smith added, “Heroes give blood. The Arlington County Fire Department wants to remind everyone that anyone can be a hero and encourages anyone who can donate blood to do so and join the ‘Whole Blood Brigade’.”

As part of the new program, the ACFD EMS Supervisor medical response vehicles have been equipped with climate-controlled compartments and special carrying containers that ensure the blood supply is kept at a proper temperature while it is stored.

ACFD Advanced Practice Officers (APO), the most advanced trained paramedics in the Arlington County Fire Department, received whole blood administration training in August and will be the operational leaders for blood transfusions by ACFD. In September, as the program is rolled out, the entire EMS force will be trained to assist when blood transfusion is initiated in the field.

With the logistics, training, and operations of implementing a new program now established, ACFD and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue will be the first two agencies in the Northern Virginia EMS Council to implement this program. However, any jurisdiction that is a member of the Northern Virginia EMS Council may tap into this program for their EMS agency.

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(Updated at 2 p.m.) All Metro service between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon has been suspended due to smoke in a Metro tunnel near the Courthouse station.

A large fire department response is on scene in Courthouse, investigating the issue. Riders are being evacuated from the Courthouse station, where a light haze was reported in the platform area.

Firefighters are looking into a possible electrical issue between the Rosslyn and Courthouse stations.

Simultaneously, a possible communications problem in the tunnels has been reported. Firefighters and the fire liaison at Metro’s rail control center are currently communicating on Arlington’s fire department response radio channel, however.

As of 11:30 a.m., about 45 minutes after the first dispatch, firefighters and Metro emergency response personnel were still on scene, trying to determine what, if anything, is on fire. An empty train is being brought in to help with the investigation. Around 12:45 p.m., firefighters were told that the issue is believed to be a burning electrical insulator.

As of 2 p.m., service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines had been restored, according to Metro.

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A single-vehicle crash involving a small SUV and a large rock prompted a sizable emergency response on Columbia Pike this afternoon.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m., in the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy at 2601 Columbia Pike, near Penrose Square.

The car flipped onto its side as a result of the collision with the boulder, in the back of the parking lot. A large crowd gathered as firefighters and police arrived on scene.

A witness tells ARLnow that the driver, a senior citizen, appears to have mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal. She was helped out of the overturned vehicle and evaluated for injuries by medics.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

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(Updated at 9:45 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters battled a blaze at the Domino’s Pizza on Lee Highway Friday night.

The fire broke out just before 7:45 p.m. at the pizzeria on the 4800 block of Lee Highway, which serves much of residential north Arlington. Flames could be seen coming from the roof, before being extinguished by arriving firefighters.

Lee Highway was still blocked by the emergency response. The road reopened around 9:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy @Lt_Dan123/Twitter

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Arlington County firefighters responded to an apartment kitchen fire in Pentagon City this afternoon.

The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Acadia at Metropolitan Park apartment building (575 12th Street S.). The flames started on a stove and were ultimately extinguished by a sprinkler system, but not before it filled the floor with smoke.

Firefighters are on scene working to remove the smoke. “Significant” water damage has been reported in the apartment where the fire broke out.

One apartment resident is being evaluated by medics for smoke inhalation, according to the fire department.

Police closed 12th Street S. during the incident due to the emergency response.

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An injured worker was rescued from the 27th floor of a high-rise construction project in Rosslyn this morning.

The fire department responded to The Highlands development site on Wilson Blvd, near N. Pierce Street, shortly after 11 a.m. for a report of a construction worker with a back injury.

Given that the worker was high above ground level, a technical rescue team worked to lower him via a Stokes basket attached to one of the construction project’s tower cranes. A crowd of workers watched from the street, some with phones in hand, as firefighters completed the delicate operation.

Wilson Blvd and N. Pierce Street were closed in the area during the rescue, but have since reopened.

The project, which is nearing completion, is building hundreds of condos and apartments, as well as retail space, in the northern part of the Rosslyn neighborhood, near the new H-B Woodlawn school building.

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Firefighters battled a house fire in the Penrose neighborhood this morning.

The fire was reported around 11 a.m., on the second floor of a duplex on the 300 block of S. Courthouse Road.

Firefighters from nearby Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall arrived on scene and quickly doused the flames. Arlington County firefighters searched the home and set up fans to remove the smoke from inside.

No injuries were reported, according to ACFD. S. Courthouse Road remains closed in the area due to the emergency response.

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Arlington County is getting $136,727 from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to help pay for coronavirus-related public safety expenses.

The federal grant was approved unanimously by the County Board over the weekend.

Among the big ticket items to be funded by the grant are:

  • 3 electronic sign boards for the Arlington County Police Department ($30,210)
  • 435 hours of officer overtime for ACPD ($19,106)
  • 994 pairs of coveralls for Arlington County firefighters ($31,063)
  • 280 boxes of nitrile exam gloves for the Arlington Sheriff’s Office ($36,736)

“Funds awarded under the [Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding] Program must be utilized to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus,” says a county staff report. “Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), and supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer).”

The expenses have already been incurred, the staff report notes, and will be reimbursed — with no local matching funds required.

Also funded by the grant are $19,605 worth of miscellaneous supplies for the police department.

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