The four people reported to be seriously injured when a car plowed into Ireland’s Four Courts last night may not have survived but for the quick actions of fellow pub-goers and first responders.
That’s according to Dave Cahill, long-time manager of the Courthouse fixture, which remains closed after last night’s crash and fire.
At last check, the four critically injured people were still hospitalized, but the hope is all four will pull through, we’re told. Cahill tells ARLnow that all three Four Courts employees who were injured and brought to the hospital have since been released.
The crash happened around 6:45 p.m. Friday, as people were gathered near the front of the pub for a local company’s happy hour event.
A gray Toyota Camry — ARLnow has heard from multiple sources that it was being operated as a rideshare vehicle — reportedly came speeding up N. Courthouse Road and drove through the “T” intersection, slamming directly into the pub. It was nearly 20 feet inside the business, Cahill said, and started to catch fire almost immediately.
Quick-thinking customers sprang into action, coming from the back of the restaurant to the smoldering wreckage to help severely injured customers, the driver, and at least one passenger of the car, who was also hurt. Photos taken as fire started to engulf the car and the pub show several people carrying one man — who can be seen in a photo taken seconds earlier slumped over in front of the car — to safety outside.
Police and firefighters arrived on scene as employees and customers were still trying to flee the pub. Photos and a TikTok video show police officers running into Four Courts as smoke billowed out. In frantic police radio transmissions, first arriving officers requested “a lot of ambulances” and reported “a lot of people” still inside the restaurant as fire spread.
“It’s an image I’ll never forget,” said Cahill.
Without customers risking their own safety to save the injured, and without the lightning-fast response of police and medics — ACPD headquarters is a couple of blocks from Four Courts and a fire station is a short distance down Wilson Blvd — “it could have been a lot worse,” he said.
Also helping: the pub was significantly less crowded than usual for a Friday, a server told NBC 4.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was hurt,” said Cahill. Asked about when the pub might reopen, Cahill said “we’re not thinking about it right now.”
Building inspectors determined that Four Courts is structurally sound but not fit for occupancy due to the extensive damage. Photos of the interior from this morning, shared with ARLnow, show a vast swath of charred flooring, fixtures and ceiling near the front of the pub.
The car, meanwhile, was removed from inside and hauled away on a flatbed tow truck early this morning. Video shows heavy front-end damage from the collision.
Cahill said management will start to assess repairs and future plans next week, but noted that the kitchen and the newer rear of the pub is largely intact. The current hope is that insurance will help to pay employees and keep them on staff.
A GoFundMe page, which Cahill says was set up by a regular customer, will also help. As of publication it has raised more than $7,500 of a $50,000 goal.
A total of 14 people were injured, including eight who were brought to local hospitals, police and fire officials said last night. There’s still no word on what led to the crash.
Update at 4 p.m. — The Arlington County police and fire departments just issued the following joint statement. Two of the victims remain in critical condition, the statement says, while the other two seriously injured people have been stabilized.
(Updated at 7:55 a.m.) Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse caught fire after a car barreled into it at the height of dinnertime Friday.
The fire is now out after a two-alarm fire department response. Photos from the scene show the longtime local bar charred, with a car fully inside the restaurant after the crash. An earlier photo shows flames shooting out of the front of the pub while police run towards the scene and an injured person is hoisted by several people on the sidewalk.
Police say four people were taken to hospitals with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. Four additional people were hospitalized with less serious injuries, while six were treated on scene, according to Arlington County police.
The driver of the car and at least one restaurant employee are said to be among the injured.
Dave Cahill, Four Courts’ general manager, told ARLnow in a brief phone call that at least one employee was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but none were among the seriously injured. All four of the seriously injured people are believed to be customers who were inside the bar at a happy hour for a local company, Cahill said.
The crash happened when a car “came down N. Courthouse Road and went into the building going very quick,” Cahill said. He said it went about 20 feet into the building before coming to rest and catching fire. Initial reports suggest multiple people were inside the car at the time of the crash.
Courthouse Road ends at a “T” intersection with Wilson Blvd, with Four Courts directly in front of the turning traffic. It is unclear why the driver did not stop or turn. The car appeared to be going well above the speed limit, witnesses said.
Police radio traffic from immediately after the crash paints a chaotic scene, with officers requesting “a lot of ambulances” and reporting to dispatch that “a lot of people” were trapped in the burning restaurant. A video posted to TikTok shows people evacuating as the flames quickly grow in intensity and first responders arrive.
A large emergency response remains on scene and roads in the area are expected to stay closed for an extended period of time.
“Please keep the all the injured in your thoughts and prayers,” Ireland’s Four Courts said on social media shortly before 8 p.m. “Thanks to @ArlingtonVaPD and @ArlingtonVaFD for their quick response. We are devastated.”
“Praying for the health of the injured in this horrible incident,” said County Board member Takis Karantonis.
Cahill called the damage to the front of the restaurant “very significant” but told ARLnow that he believes the newer rear portion of the restaurant and its kitchen were spared fire damage. Police said around 9:30 p.m. that the building was determined by engineers to be structurally sound but unable to be reinhabited, for now.
The smashed car was removed from the now-boarded-up pub and taken away on a flatbed tow truck early Saturday morning.
During the response to the crash and fire, an Arlington County Fire Department battalion chief’s vehicle was itself involved in a significant crash on Route 50 at the intersection with Fillmore Street. Several vehicles were reported to have been involved.
No additional information was immediately available about that crash.
Update at 1:35 p.m. — The quick actions of Four Courts customers and first responders likely saved multiple lives, according to new ARLnow reporting.
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) August 12, 2022
(Updated at 2 p.m.) Wilson Blvd is blocked at N. Fillmore Street due to a reported fire in a commercial building in Clarendon.
Initial reports suggest a small fire broke out on or just below the roof of one of the businesses — reportedly nightlife venue Wilson Hardware — along the 2900 block of Wilson Blvd. Firefighters are on the scene, with ladders stretched to the roof of the building, and have reportedly extinguished the flames.
No injuries or significant damage has been reported, though some smoke has been reported in the business. Firefighters are working to make sure the fire hasn’t spread elsewhere.
Most fire department units are now clearing the scene and Wilson Blvd should be reopening shortly.
An electrical worker is fighting for his or her life after an incident this morning near Pentagon City.
Firefighters were called to The Representative condominium tower at 1101 S. Arlington Ridge Road around 9:30 a.m. for a report of an electrocution and a fire on the roof, according to scanner traffic. The fire was out by the time crews reached the scene but two injured workers were found and taken to the hospital.
On social media, the Arlington County Fire Department described what happened as a “small electrical fire.” The reported injuries, however, were serious, ACFD said — one worker had critical injuries while another had serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The Arlington County fire marshal’s office is investigating what happened alongside occupational safety authorities, ACFD said.
The road in front of the condo building was at least partially blocked earlier today as a result of the sizable emergency response.
#Final – Two patients transported to an area hospital. One patient with critical injuries, and one with serious but non-life threatening injuries. OSHA, @ArlingtonVaPD, and our Fire Marshal’s will remain on the scene to investigate.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) July 6, 2022
Arlington Man Arrested for Fairfax Murder — “A man was arrested in connection to the homicide of 32-year-old DonorSee founder Gret Glyer, according to Fairfax City Police officials. Joshua Danehower, 33, of Arlington, Va., was arrested at Dulles International Airport Tuesday night. He was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Glyer’s death, according to police. He was also charged with one count of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.” [WJLA, Fox News]
Air Quality Warning Today — “The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert Thursday for Northern Virginia. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups.” [National Weather Service]
Wardian Powering Through Dozens of Audiobooks — Achieving his Forrest Gump-esque goal of running some 3,000 miles coast-to-coast is not the only feat Arlington resident and decorated ultramarathoner Michael Wardian has tallied over the past couple of months. He says he has also listened to at least 35 audiobooks on 2x speed while on the journey. [NBC 4]
AIM ‘Coming Out Party’ Tonight — “The AIM and WERA teams invite you to join us tomorrow to celebrate our exciting new direction and plans! Come out and meet our new staff, learn about amazing programs and classes, and see how you can be a part of the future of inclusive public media in Arlington! Mix, mingle, meet Ms. Gay Arlington, dance to the tunes of drag queen DJ’s Katja and Giorgio — and have fun!” [Eventbrite]
Kitchen Fire and Power Outage in Ballston — “Kitchen fire at Uncle Julio’s. Sounds minor but the restaurant was evacuated, per scanner. There’s also a power outage in the area, affecting more than 600 Dominion customers, per the company’s outage map.” [Twitter]
It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day. High of 88 and low of 68. Sunrise at 5:48 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze at a house in the Barcroft neighborhood this morning.
The fire on the 4600 block of 6th Street S. was reported shortly before 5:30 a.m. First arriving units reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof of a two-story home.
It took firefighters from several local jurisdictions about an hour to fully extinguish the blaze, which appeared to have mostly burned the top floor or attic area.
“Crews made an initial interior attack on the fire but were pulled out due to deteriorating conditions,” Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow. “After attacking the fire from the exterior, units were able to enter the structure again to put out the remainder of the fire. The bulk of the fire was extinguished in 40 minutes.”
“A second alarm was requested to bring this fire under control,” Hiner noted. “Roughly 75 firefighters responded to the scene, and ACFD was assisted by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department as well as the City of Alexandria Fire Department.”
No injuries were reported.
One nearby resident said the home was unoccupied at the time. Another told ARLnow that they could smell smoke from the blaze from Columbia Pike.
The cause of the fire is now under investigation.
“The Fire Prevention Office remains at the scene to investigate the cause and origin,” said Hiner.
#Final: Fire is out, a majority of the crews are being placed in service. Fire Prevention Office will remain on scene to conduct their cause and origin investigation. No injuries reported from this 2 alarm fire. pic.twitter.com/tavvEIQrxz
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) June 29, 2022
Woke up to smoke and fire sirens at dawn this morning, a house in Arlington VA Barcroft neighborhood was ablaze. It was unoccupied, owners had just moved to a new house down 6th St. @ARLnowDOTcom #arlingtonva pic.twitter.com/samvZdMhOO
— Dennis Dimick (@ddimick) June 29, 2022
Firefighters battled a fire inside an apartment in the Buckingham neighborhood Saturday night.
The fire broke out around 8 p.m. in a garden apartment building along the 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive. As of 9 p.m. the fire was out, but firefighters were still working to ventilate smoke from the building.
Pershing Drive was blocked in both directions as a result of the large emergency response.
So far there have been no reports of injuries.
— Robert Gonzalez (@RobertG2001) June 5, 2022
LOCATION: N Pershing Dr./S George Mason Dr.
INCIDENT: Fire Department Activity
IMPACT: N Pershing Dr. between N Thomas St. and S George Mason Dr. is currently closed. Seek an alternate route. pic.twitter.com/kwt5Fs9RSJ
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) June 5, 2022
A restaurant at the Pentagon City mall has been evacuated due to smoke coming from the roof.
Firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria and elsewhere are on scene at wood-fired pizza eatery Matchbox, at 1100 S. Hayes Street, trying to find the source of the smoke. It’s currently believed that debris within the kitchen’s ventilation system may have caught fire.
Firefighters used a ladder truck to get to the roof, which reportedly was not accessible from the restaurant space.
Rush hour commuters should expect some traffic impacts from the emergency response along S. Hayes Street, which is closed between Army Navy Drive and 15th Street S., according to Arlington Alert.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 31, 2022
LOCATION: SB Hayes St. / Army Navy Dr.
INCIDENT: Fire Department Activity
IMPACT: Hayes St. is shut down from Army Navy Dr. to 15th St. Seek alternate route. pic.twitter.com/RdYzrxEjek
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) May 31, 2022
Due to Fire Dept activity, S Hayes St. is closed at Pentagon City. All passengers can board/alight the ART 74 & 84 on 15th St at the corner of S. Hayes.
— ART Alert (@ART_Alert) May 31, 2022
LOCATION: SB Hayes St. / Army Navy Dr.
INCIDENT: Fire Department Activity
IMPACT: All lanes reopened. pic.twitter.com/h7J0yEVi74
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) May 31, 2022
Merlene Drops Out of Delegate Race — From Nicole Merlene: “After much consideration I have made a personal decision not to seek the nomination for Virginia’s House of Delegates 2nd District in 2023… To those who have donated to me, you will receive a full return of your kind contributions.” [Twitter, Twitter]
Hammer Attack in Clarendon — “3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 2:45 a.m. on May 27, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, officers located the male suspect and victim and it was determined following a verbal dispute, the suspect allegedly struck the victim in the head with a hammer.” [ACPD]
APS Literacy Challenges — “Supervisors with Arlington County’s English Language Arts Program submitted a report to the school board that highlights the challenges in meeting student literacy needs. According to the report, about 19% of county students were classified in what is known as the red ‘at risk’ category when looking at literacy skills. For Black students, the number placed in the at risk category in grades 3-5 has increased, while Hispanic students have seen increases in grades four and five.” [WTOP]
Large House Becoming Group Home — “The looming, not-family-friendly structure at 27th and N. Sycamore sts.–whose owners have long struggled to keep the place occupied — on May 9 sold for $1.6 million, per Zillow. The purchaser is the Fairfax-based Pathway Homes Inc. The nonprofit plans to convert the awkward three-floor, seven-bedroom house (zoned R-6 in single-family residential) to a home for 15 residents (with professional staff present) for a program for Arlingtonians suffering from mental illness, substance abuse and other disabilities.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Report: Va. Short 200k Affordable Homes — “A new report from the state’s Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission says Virginia is short at least 200,000 affordable rental units. Soaring rent prices are forcing a growing number of people to think twice about where home is.” [WSLS]
Small Fire at Rosslyn Safeway — From Dave Statter: “Watch for Wilson Blvd. to be shut in Rosslyn between Oak & Pierce due to a report of a fire in an oven at the Safeway.” [Twitter]
Small House Fire in Bluemont — “Careful on Wilson Boulevard near N. Lexington (near Bon Air Park) in #Arlington. Hose across Wilson Boulevard due to a small and under control house fire being handled by @ArlingtonVaFD.” [Twitter]
It’s Tuesday — Hot and humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 71. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:29 pm. [Weather.gov]
A basement fire in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood drew firefighters to a house near Tuckahoe Park this afternoon (Wednesday).
The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes of firefighters arriving at the two-story home on the 6400 block of 24th Street N., ACFD Battalion Chief Robert Eversburg said. The fire was contained to the room it started in.
There were no occupants home at the time of the fire, he said. One firefighter was injured, cutting his hand during the response.
Neighbors called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the roof, according to scanner traffic. When firefighters arrived, they forced entry into the home and found it filled with smoke.
The county fire marshal is now investigating the cause of the blaze.
Update: Fire has been extinguished. Units are checking for any extension and working on ventilation.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 4, 2022
Two cats were rescued by firefighters after a smoky fire inside a local apartment building.
The fire broke out Sunday afternoon at the Ballston Park apartment complex in Ashton Heights.
“On April 10th at around 4:15 p.m. units from the Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 3900 block of 5th Street N.,” ACFD spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow. “Units quickly arrived on scene and found smoke [coming] from the second floor of a two-story apartment building.”
“The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to the apartment of origin,” said Hiner. “Two pets were rescued from an adjacent apartment, and the fire remains under investigation.”
The pets that were rescued were cats, according to scanner traffic. The fire broke out on a busy day for ACFD that included a large response to a car fire behind a restaurant in Courthouse.