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by ARLnow.com — April 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of a house fire in the North Arlington neighborhood of Dover-Crystal.

ACFD responded to a house on the 2700 block of N. Randolph Street for a report of a mattress on fire inside the home. Upon arriving on scene, firefighters saw smoke coming from the house and found fire on the second floor, according to scanner traffic.

No one was reported to be inside the house when rescuers arrived. No injuries have been reported and as of 2:40 p.m. the fire was said to be extinguished.

Update at 3:05 p.m. — The fire was confined to the home’s bedroom, says ACFD.

by ARLnow.com — April 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm 0

House fire in Nauck on April 4, 2013 (Photo courtesy @CAPT258)

This weekend, members of the Red Cross and the Arlington County Fire Department will be going door-to-door in the Douglas Park and Nauck neighborhoods, performing fire safety checks and smoke alarm inspections and, when necessary, installing free smoke alarms.

The goal: “to reduce the number of fire-related injuries and fatalities by ensuring residents have working smoke alarms.”

In 2013, two children were injured in a Nauck house fire (see photo, above). In 2014, two elderly residents died during in a house fire in the neighborhood.

ACFD says it will continue canvassing Arlington neighborhoods throughout the spring and summer to promote fire safety. From a press release:

According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of dying in a fire by nearly half. Acting Fire Chief Joseph Reshetar explains, “Early detection of a fire is a key element to survival. Please make sure your smoke alarms are operating properly.”

Last summer ACFD piloted this program and, in just 14 days of canvassing, installed a total of 865 alarms and 174 batteries. Of the 1,826 homes inspected last summer, 30 percent had no working smoke alarms or an insufficient number of smoke alarms. Chief Reshetar will join the firefighters and volunteers canvassing this Saturday with the goal of reducing that percentage.

Firefighters from all 10 fire stations will continue to canvas neighborhoods throughout Arlington County every Saturday from now through September, to provide smoke alarm inspections and installations. Arlington County residents may also contact the fire department to schedule these services.

Remember, installing smoke alarms is only one part of home fire safety. The Fire Department and Red Cross encourage you to:

  • Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the “test” button.
  • Change the batteries in all alarms twice a year with daylight savings time, unless you alarm is equipped with a 10 year lithium battery.
  • Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plan twice a year. Your plan should include two ways out of every room, getting low, closing the door behind, going directly to your predetermined family meeting place, and then calling 9-1-1.

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Duck goes fishing in a pond (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Washington Blvd Trail Design Approved — The Penrose Neighborhood Association voted to endorse a new design for Phase II of the county’s Washington Blvd Trail project. The trail was originally supposed to be built a few years ago, but residents objected to the loss of trees the trail’s path would have necessitated. [Greater Greater Washington]

Anti-Gun Store Car Towed — Opponents of the planned Lyon Park gun store say the store’s landlord ordered a car towed from the parking lot because it was covered in anti-gun store literature. Despite being covered in the articles, which were held in place by colorful magnets, the car actually belonged to one of the building’s tenants and wasn’t parked illegally, says the group Act4LyonPark. [Facebook]

Female Firefighters in Arlington — In 1974, Judith Livers became the first paid, full-time municipal firefighter in the United States when she took a job with the Arlington County Fire Department. On Friday, a graduation ceremony was held for the county’s latest firefighting recruit class. Continuing Livers’ legacy, four of the 14-member class are female. Nationally, only about 4 percent of firefighters are women, while 9 percent of Arlington’s firefighters are female. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2016 at 9:20 am 0

Tree in bloom in Fairlington

Arlington Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident — An Arlington man died Saturday after his motorcycle skidded out of control while he was trying to get on northbound I-395 from Route 236, near Landmark Mall in Alexandria. Altankhuyag Saintur, 26, was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital. [Washington Post]

Firefighters Battle Blaze in Cherrydale — Arlington County firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a house fire on the 4000 block of Vacation Lane in Cherrydale early Saturday morning. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Shamrock Crawl Arrests — There were no major incidents during Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl in Clarendon, but nine people were arrested for drunken behavior. The Arlington County Police Department maintained a significant presence at the bar crawl — paid for by the organizers — which kept unruliness to a relative minimum. [WJLA]

Another Grocery Store for the Pike? — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey would like to attract another food option for the western end of Columbia Pike, at least for the two years between when the Food Star store closes for construction and another grocery store opens in its place. [InsideNova]

Two Programs Planned at Arlington Mill Center — Arlington County has agreed to lease 9,400 square feet of third-floor space in the Arlington Mill Community Center to two local children’s programs: Aspire! After School Learning and Jane Franklin Dance. Aspire! will have 18 months to raise the funds to build out and lease the space, under a Letter of Intent signed with the county. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com — March 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm 0

A man in his 70s was trapped in an SUV that overturned in North Arlington early this afternoon.

The crash happened around 12:45 p.m., on Williamsburg Blvd near the intersection with N. Glebe Road.

The man was promptly extricated from the vehicle by firefighters. He did not appear to be seriously hurt, according to scanner traffic, and was transported via ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center.

Williamsburg Blvd is closed while a tow crew removes the vehicle and debris from the roadway.

Photos courtesy @ACFDPIO

by ARLnow.com — March 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Arlington Cemetery station was temporarily closed — and Blue Line service suspended — due to a reported fire on the track this afternoon.

Two separate fires were put out with a fire extinguisher, according to scanner traffic. Metro is advising riders to expect delays.

From Metro:

by ARLnow.com — March 6, 2016 at 8:50 pm 0

Arlington County firefighters battled a house fire in the Bluemont neighborhood tonight.

The fire broke out on the second floor of a home on the 800 block of N. Abingdon Street, near Ballston, just before 8 p.m. Sunday. It took about 20 minutes for the blaze to be extinguished.

No injuries were reported — no one was reported to be inside the house when firefighters arrived.

Photos via Facebook courtesy of Andrew Pang

by ARLnow.com — February 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm 0

Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of a flipped car in Falls Church.

The crash happened around 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Great Falls Street and Little Falls Street, near the Falls Church Community Center.

One person is being evaluated for injuries by paramedics. A video (below) shows firefighters arriving on scene shortly after the accident.

Arlington provides fire and EMS services to the City of Falls Church via an agreement between the two jurisdictions.

by ARLnow.com — February 19, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Columbia Pike in the mirror (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

ACFD Battles Fire on Patrick Henry Drive — On Thursday morning Arlington County firefighters assisted in battling a two-alarm blaze at an apartment building on the 3000 block of Patrick Henry Drive, just across the border in Fairfax County. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington Doubling Down on Startups — Arlington Economic Development plans to use the $1.5 million in one-time additional funds it’s allocated in County Manager Mark Schwartz’s budget to target early-stage tech companies and help them lease offices between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. [Washington Business Journal]

W-L Alum to Direct Sci-Fi Film — Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has selected Washington-Lee High School alum Julius Onah to direct “God Particle,” a new sci-fi thriller being produced by Abrams’ production company. Onah was named one of the top 10 “Up and Up Feature Directors” in 2013. He’s also signed up to direct an upcoming Universal Pictures film, “Brilliance.” [Blackfilm.com, IndiewireTwitter]

Local Chef Nominated for Big Award — Peter Chang, whose eponymous restaurant opened last year in the Lee-Harrison shopping center, has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” [Patch]

Shirlington Profiled by Post — As part of its “Where We Live” series, the Washington Post has profiled Arlington’s Shirlington neighborhood. Shirlington earns high marks for having a variety of walkable entertainment, dining and shopping options, and for having only six crimes of note over the course of 12 months. [Washington Post]

More on Nauck History Project — Arlington County’s Nauck Green Valley Heritage Project has already received dozens of photos in its new online photo archive. A vibrant, historically black neighborhood since before the Civil War, Nauck has been changing — some say gentrifying. “Today, we’re probably less than 32 percent African American,” noted the community’s civic association president. [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — January 14, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Arlington County fire truck(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) Arlington County and Fort Myer firefighters and medics are on the scene of a carbon monoxide incident on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

The incident is taking place at the Cody Child Development Center on the base. Firefighters were dispatched there shortly after 10 a.m.

According to scanner traffic, employees and children were evacuated to an auditorium due to a high level of carbon monoxide in the building. The source of the CO has been traced back to a malfunctioning boiler.

Firefighters are ventilating the building while a hazmat team continues to monitor conditions. Medics treated and monitored at least eight patients, who are suffering nausea and anxiety-like symptoms. No patients required transport to the hospital.

A crew of firefighters was dispatched to the center’s kitchen to retrieve infant formula for some of the children, according to scanner traffic.

Around noon, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall issued the following press release about the incident, asking parents to come pick up their children.

A “suspicious odor” reported this morning at the Cody Child Development Center on the Fort Myer portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall has led to the relocation of the center’s children to another portion of the center as JBM-HH Fire and Rescue services investigate.

Emergency services responded after detection of a “suspicious odor” in the facility earlier this morning. At approximately 11:30 a.m., the emergency services

Parents of the children have been notified and are asked by the center’s management to pick up their children as soon as possible.

“Our primary concern is the safety of everyone involved,” said Col. Mike Henderson, JBM-HH commander. “We are doing everything possible to mitigate any potential danger to children, staff and others involved.”

Children are being screened and will be treated by medical services on scene.

Joint base officials said that there is a plan in place to quickly relocate children to another portion of the joint base if responders’ investigation determines that there is indeed a safety hazard present.

Parents seeking additional information about the situation can contact the Cody Child Development Center’s management at 703-696-3712.

Additional information will be released as available. Please check the JBM-HH Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jbmhh for additional details as they become available.

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm 0

A car slammed into a low stone wall outside of a home at the corner of N. Harrison Street and 26th Street N. this afternoon.

The single-vehicle crash happened around 1:30 p.m., not far from the Lee-Harrison shopping center and Yorktown High School.

An adult male driver was the only occupant inside the car, a gray Oldsmobile, when emergency crews arrived. He was reported to be semi-conscious after the crash and not responding to police commands. A fire department rescue squad was dispatched to the scene to remove the man from the car.

The driver was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for evaluation. The cause of the crash and the cause of the driver’s semi-conscious state is still under investigation, a police spokeswoman said.

A large portion of the wall and some shrubbery was destroyed by the crash, but no other injuries were reported.

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

I-395 near the Pentagon at dawn

W-L Defeats Yorktown, Twice — The Washington-Lee girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams both defeated their Yorktown counterparts yesterday, in cross-county rivalry games. The girls won 54-45, while the boys won 65-59.

Branson-Backed Startup Coming to Rosslyn — OneWeb, a startup that’s aiming to launch a constellation of low-orbit satellites that will provide affordable Internet access across the globe, is coming to Rosslyn. The company, backed by Virgin Group tycoon Richard Branson, will occupy a 6,000-square-foot space in Monday Properties’ 1400 Key Blvd building. The building, which is also home to ARLnow.com, is slated to replaced with an apartment tower and grocery store at some point, though it’s unclear when the redevelopment will move forward. [Washington Business Journal]

Reminder: Get Rid of Dry Christmas Trees — The Arlington County Fire Department is reminding residents that dry Christmas trees are a big fire hazard. The county is currently in the midst of its annual Christmas tree collection. [Twitter]

A-SPAN Kudos for Paisano’s — Paisano’s Pizza saved the day for the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, after A-SPAN’s planned hot dinner for its homeless clients fell through at the last minute. Paisano’s delivered pasta, salad and garlic bread on a cold night and on short notice. [Facebook]

Levine Proposes LGBT Rights Bills — Yesterday we reported on three LGBT rights bills proposed by state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D). Delegate-elect Mark Levine (D), who represents part of South Arlington and Alexandria, has proposed several such bills of his own. Among them are bills prohibiting employment, housing and other discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Levine was formerly legislative counsel to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). [Washington Blade]

TransportationCamp DC Coming to GMU — George Mason University’s Arlington campus will host the 5th annual TransportationCamp DC gathering on Saturday. The “un-conference” will discuss various transportation, technology and mobility issues. More than 400 “thought leaders, young professionals, and students from around the country” are expected to attend. [TransportationCamp]

Thank You to Crystal City Rotary Club — Thank you to the Crystal City-Pentagon Rotary Club for a hearty breakfast this morning. ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck spoke to the group about his experience running a small business that happens to be Arlington’s most-read local news outlet. ARLnow.com will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 29.

by Michael Doyle — December 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm 0

Volunteer Firefighter Binns (by Michael Doyle)

Arlington native Marvin Spencer Binns fought his first fire as a teenager. He liked it, a lot. For the next six decades, he kept plugging away.

“I’m a fireman,” Binns said not too long ago.

On Monday morning, the long-time president of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department passed away following a lengthy illness. He was 80.

Until the end, Binns kept a two-way radio chattering in his room at The Carlin retirement home near Ballston. When he heard an emergency call originating from the 10-story complex, he would march downstairs to aid the arriving Arlington County Fire Department crews.

“I can’t put the gear on, and my knees are terrible,” Binns allowed, “but I can still go and do things.”

Binns’ remarkably durable volunteer career earned him a unique reputation. Tellingly, in a county where relations between volunteer and career firefighters have not always been harmonious, ACFD Honor Guard members stood watch in early March during a public viewing for Binns’ late wife, Betty.

“There are certain volunteer members over the years who have been accepted into the career family,” noted Capt. Randy Higgins, a career Arlington firefighter at Fire Station 2 who has known Binns for many years. “Marvin was always around, pitching in and helping out.”

Born in Arlington on March 20, 1935, Binns attended Washington-Lee High School and, later, vocational school in Manassas. By the time he was 16 or so, he was starting to hang out at the Cherrydale station, home to the county’s oldest volunteer fire organization.

The two-story, red-brick station dedicated in 1920 held multiple attractions for Binns. Some nights, he would just sit outside while music floated down from the weekly dances held in the upstairs social hall. Binns would also listen to the career and volunteer firemen chewing the fat while awaiting a summons.

Though Arlington County had initiated a career fire department in 1940, volunteers still responded to emergencies, sometimes informally. When he was 16 and still too young to join, Binns drove himself to Rosslyn on the bitterly cold night of Dec. 30, 1951 to pitch in on the fight against a devastating fire at the Murphy & Ames lumber yard.

“I went to a lot of fires,” Binns recalled, “and I wasn’t even a member of the fire department yet.”

When he turned 18, Binns paid $5 and formally joined the Cherrydale department. There was no particular school to attend; the learning was hands-on and experiential. At the training academy, officers would set fire to hay bales or old tires and the men would enter the burn house with only rudimentary protection.

“You couldn’t see a foot in front of you, it was so black,” Binns recalled.

Binns moved into the Cherrydale fire station for a time before he joined the Navy in 1957 and served as a baker aboard the USS Norfolk, a destroyer leader.

It wasn’t always sweetness and light. Tensions sometimes arose between the career guys and volunteers. The volunteer department sometimes struggled financially or administratively; the old fire station, some neighbors occasionally opined, could attract rowdies. Sometime in 1967, Cherrydale historian Kathryn Holt Springston recounted in her history of the Cherrydale department that Arlington officials received complaints that firefighters were whistling at women passing by.

“All were asked to stop such practices,” Springston reported.

Binns could spin a yarn; he had plenty of stories from his decades of service. The way the old siren would wail, summoning volunteers. The winter calls that would leave the firefighters covered in ice. The two dead sisters he helped carry out of the house near Washington Golf and Country Club; some bad, bad car accidents.

The incomparable fellowship.

“I wanted to protect the county,” Binns said; besides, he added, “to me, it was fun. I mean, I enjoyed it. You never knew when you got on the scene what you were going to find. Going down the road, in your mind, you’d be thinking what you were going to run into.”

Binns is survived by five children, 27 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. A daughter pre-deceased him.

Photo and story by Michael Doyle, who is also a member of the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department. Editor’s note: the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department provides support services for the professional firefighters and EMTs in the Arlington County Fire Department.

by ARLnow.com — December 14, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Bonfire at the Rosslyn Holiday Market in Gateway Park on Friday

Guns Stolen from Nova Firearms in McLean — A burglary has occurred at Nova Firearms, the gun store that wanted to open a location in Cherrydale before residents pressured the store and the landlord to scuttle those plans. Two handguns were stolen from Nova Firearms’ McLean store just after midnight this past Friday. Police are seeking tips in the case. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Taxicab Fares Raised in Arlington — A taxi ride in Arlington will now cost an extra 25 cents per ride and an extra six cents per mile. The County Board on Saturday unanimously approved new taxi rates that also include a $25 cleaning fee for those who “dirty or foul a cab enough that the cab must be removed from service.” [Arlington County, WJLA]

Locals Make ’50 On Fire’ List — A number of Arlington-based companies and individuals have been named to this year’s DC Inno “50 on Fire” list. Local honorees include Vornado/Charles E. Smith honcho Mitchell Schear, Crystal City incubator Eastern Foundry, newly-IPOed Evolent Health in Ballston, Ballston-based tech firm Distil Networks and Rosslyn-based advertising agency LMO Advertising. [DC Inno]

Nauck Town Square Design Meeting — A community discussion will be held at Drew Model School to help officials arrive at a final plan and design for its Nauck Town Square project. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight (Monday). [Arlington County]

Review of Oz in Clarendon — Oz restaurant in Clarendon, which opened in September, continues to receive so-so reviews from the critics. The latest review suggests that Oz suffers from the inherent blandness of Australian cuisine, which it attempts to recreate faithfully. Oz may benefit, however, from its co-owner’s casting on the Real Housewives of Potomac. [Washington Post]

Arlington Fire Captain Retires After 35 Years — Arlington County Fire Department Captain Robert Patterson has retired after 35 years on the job. [WJLA]

by ARLnow.com — December 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm 0

(Updated at 8:00 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters made quick work of a house fire in the Nauck neighborhood tonight.

Flames were reported in the living room of a home on the 1900 block of S. Edgewood Street around 7:15 p.m. Arriving firefighters reported an active fire in the house and requested an upgraded response.

The fire was reported extinguished by 7:30, though some smoke could still be seen coming from the house. Firefighters remained on scene to check for hot spots and investigate the cause of the blaze.

The house was vacant and undergoing renovations, firefighters said. No injuries were reported.

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