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by Chris Teale — April 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

(Updated at 7 p.m.) A woman was found lying in the middle of the roadway along the George Washington Parkway Monday night.

First reports indicated the was woman lying in the northbound lanes near the Key Bridge. U.S. Park Police officers responded to the call, assisted by medics from the Arlington County Fire Department.

A fire department spokesman said Park Police made first contact with the woman.

When units arrived, the spokesman said, they found the woman able to speak but “with an altered level of consciousness and possibly wanting to commit suicide.” Medics transported her to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment.

U.S. Park Police has not provided additional details about the incident.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 18, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Video of Weekend ATV Riders — For the second consecutive weekend, dirt bike and ATV riders took to county roads. This time, there’s clear video of the riders taking up all lanes of traffic on Route 50 and performing stunts. [WJLA]

Operation Firesafe in Full Swing — Arlington firefighters are hitting the streets for Operation Firesafe, which is the annual free door-to-door smoke alarm and fire safety canvassing program. Firefighters travel throughout the county on Saturdays from April through October to check residents’ fire safety and to install smoke detectors. Arlington residents can request a free smoke detector online. [Arlington County Fire Department]

Teen Leadership Program Applicants Wanted — The Leadership Center for Excellence is looking for motivated rising high school juniors and seniors for its summer Leadership Arlington Youth Program. [InsideNova]

by Katie Pyzyk — April 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Three first responders who braved dangerous conditions during significant fires received top honors at today’s Arlington County Fire Department Recognition and Awards Ceremony.

ACFD’s highest level of recognition is the Medal of Valor-Gold, which honors a member of the fire department who performs an act of valor or heroism in life threatening conditions while trying to save another person. Firefighter/EMT Chad Aldridge received the award for his attempts to rescue two people trapped in a 2014 house fire in Nauck. Aldridge escaped the deadly blaze with first- and second-degree burns, which he sustained when a flashover occurred.

Lt. Fred Kawatsky and firefighter/EMT Jason Updyke received the Medal of Valor-Silver for performing acts that involve great personal risk. They assisted with rescuing victims at a 2014 apartment fire near Columbia Pike. The two moved a wheelchair-bound victim to a safer place inside the smoke-filled building and provided medical care when the person stopped breathing.

Fire Chief James Bonzano and Deputy Chief John Warren presented these and other awards. A total of 23 awards were given to both uniformed and non-uniformed members of the fire department, an Arlington police officer, an Emergency Communications Center dispatcher and three civilians.

by Katie Pyzyk — April 10, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Firefighters spent part of Saturday night extinguishing a house fire on the 1300 block of N. Stuart Street in Ballston.

Arlington County firefighters arrived around 8 p.m. to find flames that originated near the back porch and extended to part of the attic. Crews managed to put out the fire in about 20 minutes.

Emergency crews reported that none of the four to five people living in the home were injured, and neither was their dog.

An ACFD spokesperson says an improperly discarded cigarette sparked the fire. It reportedly was thrown into dry leaves and shrubbery, which then ignited the porch.

by ARLnow.com — March 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm 0

(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) A PRTC commuter bus smashed into the side of the Lenox Club apartment building in Pentagon City Wednesday evening.

The crash happened just before 6 p.m., along 12th Street S. The bus, which was not carrying passengers at the time, hopped the curb, struck the front of a convertible and ran into a storefront on the side of the building.

Three people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. Among those injured were the bus driver, a pedestrian and one person who was inside the building, Savage said.

Structural engineers have been called to inspect the base of the high-rise building, which remained open for residents. 12th Street S. between Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street remains closed while police investigate the crash.

No word yet on whether the driver will face any charges.

Photos (top) courtesy Sid, @josh13x

by ARLnow.com — March 14, 2017 at 9:35 am 0

Frozen daffodil buds in the snow (Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak)

Arlington Sports Hall of Fame Seeks Permanent Venue — There is an Arlington Sports Hall of Fame, but it does not have a permanent home. Boosters are seeking to change that, discussing a possible display in Arlington Central Library. [InsideNova]

Local Man Graduates Parris Island With Honors — Arlington native Allen M. Gibbs has graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island with honors. [Beaufort Gazette]

Police, Fire Departments Hold Book Drive — Starting Wednesday and running through April 30, Arlington police and firefighters will be holding a “For the Love of Reading” book drive, collecting specific books for elementary school students at Arlington Public Schools. Donation boxes are located at police headquarters in Courthouse and at local fire stations. [Arlington County]

Avalon Bay Donates to APAH — Arlington-based apartment, publicly traded building owner AvalonBay has made a $35,000 donation to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The company has raised $85,000 for APAH since 2015. [Yahoo Finance]

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

by ARLnow.com — March 6, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

House fire in Aurora Highlands (photo via ACFD)

One person is dead and another is in critical condition after a fire in an Arlington home that had “hoarding conditions” inside, according to firefighters.

The fire was reported at a home on the 2600 block of S. Grant Street, in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood near Crystal City, around 9 p.m. Sunday.

“Units are dealing with hoarding conditions,” an Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson said as firefighting operations were still underway.

One person was brought out of the home, treated by medics and transported to Virginia Hospital Center. A second person was located in the home and later pronounced dead.

Update at 2:30 p.m. — Arlington County has released the following press release about the investigation into the house fire.

One person is dead and another critically injured after a house fire last night at 2623 S. Grant St.

Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) crews arrived on the scene shortly before 9 p.m. to find dark smoke coming from all levels of the single-family home and flames on the first floor.

After neighbors reported that the two residents of the home were unaccounted for, crews had difficulty entering through the front door because of hazardous hoarding conditions inside.

Widespread clutter in the home not only delayed search, rescue and suppression efforts but was also found later to be a factor in spreading the flames.

Both victims were ultimately located on the first floor and removed from the home. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.

An adult male was pronounced dead at the scene and an adult female was transported to the Virginia Hospital Center in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

Some 60 firefighters responded to the blaze, including personnel from Alexandria Fire Department, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Fire Emergency Services and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue.

ACFD fire marshals are investigating the origin and cause of the blaze and have been unable to confirm the presence of any working smoke alarms in the home.

Smoke alarms provide vital early warnings, increasing time for escape and the chances of surviving a fire.

ACFD urges you to:

  • Install smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom of a home
  • Test alarms every month by pushing the test button
  • Change the batteries in alarms twice a year, at the beginning and end of daylight savings time
  • Replace all alarms every 10 years or according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Contact ACFD for assistance testing your smoke alarms or to request a free smoke alarm installation
  • Ensure every person in your home knows and practices a home escape plan: pay special attention to those needing help evacuating; have two ways out of every room; get low; close doors behind you; go to a family meeting place; and once outside, stay outside
  • Get help for hoarding situations: Arlington County has a Hoarding Task Force to assist in eliminating the hazards that stem from hoarding and to protect the community at large

The time to take steps to make a home safer is right now.

Photo via ACFD

by Tim Regan — March 2, 2017 at 10:50 am 0

A truck caught fire in Crystal City this morning, prompting a response from the Arlington County Fire Department.

The blaze broke out in a box truck carrying shredded material before 10:30 a.m. this morning. The truck was parked in front of a building on the 200 block of 12th Street S.

Arlington County firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the small fire, which was in the back of the truck. The truck itself did not catch fire, according to scanner traffic.

by ARLnow.com — February 21, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Rosslyn skyline from above (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

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

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

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.

by Tim Regan — February 16, 2017 at 9:20 am 0

Chevy's restaurant in Pentagon City (photo via Google Maps)Arlington County firefighters fought and extinguished a dumpster fire at 1201 S. Hayes Street in Pentagon City earlier this morning.

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

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

Chevy's restaurant in Pentagon City (photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) The Chevy’s Fresh Mex restaurant at 1201 S. Hayes Street in Pentagon City is being evacuated due to “elevated” carbon monoxide levels.

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

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Fairlington at night

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]

by Tim Regan — February 13, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

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.

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