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(Updated on 12/5/21) Firefighters battled a significant fire Saturday night on the 23rd Street S. restaurant row in Crystal City.

The fire was reportedly in the building that houses Andalusia Hookah Bar and Top Thai restaurant on the 500 block of 23rd Street. Those businesses are immediately adjacent to Crystal City Sports Pub and Federico Ristorante Italiano.

Firefighters from several local jurisdictions helped to finally extinguish the smoky, two-alarm blaze. The fire has caused unsafe conditions for firefighters inside the building and flames can now be seen coming from the roof, according to scanner traffic.

Smoke from the fire could be seen rising into the air throughout the Crystal City area.

The Crystal City Sports Pub was evacuated during the fire as smoke started to fill the building. But co-owner Billy Bayne said the fire department’s quick work and coordination saved his business and others on the row.

“To our knowledge there’s no major damage to the Sports Pub,” Bayne said, while noting that there may be smoke and other damage that needs to be repaired. “Thank God for the fire department and police department… they all are heroes, they did a great job.”

Shortly before midnight the Arlington County Fire Department reported that all fire had been extinguished. So far there have been no reports of significant injuries.

On Sunday afternoon, the fire department returned to the scene after a small fire flared back up.

On Sunday night, the fire department said in a press release that the fire caused nearly $1.8 million in damages. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Shortly after 10pm on Saturday December 4th, units were dispatched for a reported fire in a commercial building in the 500 block of 23rd St S. Units quickly arrived on scene and began working to extinguish the fire. Crews began operating in extremely challenging conditions with thick smoke causing zero visibility inside the structure, as well as obscuring views for crews operating on the exterior. A second alarm was requested to bringing nearly 30 fire apparatus and 100 firefighters to the scene.

As interior conditions deteriorated rapidly, crews were forced to evacuate the building and begin using ladder trucks to flow large volumes of water from an elevated position on the exterior. With the bulk of the fire extinguished crews were able to re-enter the structure to knock down any remaining fire. Just before midnight the fire was deemed extinguished, and crews began the long process of checking for fire extension and overhaul operations.

Fire Marshals remained on scene to conduct a cause and origin investigation. The preliminary findings from their investigation list the fire cause as undetermined, and cite damages as being nearly $1.8 million dollars.

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Photo (2) via Google Maps

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Virginia State Police vehicle (photo by John Calhoun/JC Photography)

(Updated at 12:45 a.m.) A 30-year-old Arlington resident died in a house fire while visiting family in Augusta County over Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police say.

Jacqueline Guerrier was found dead in the burning home on Deerfield Valley Road, in a rural area southwest of Harrisonburg. A man also suffered life-threatening injuries in the Sunday morning fire, according to VSP.

Locally, Guerrier lived in the East Falls Church area, records show. They graduated from James Madison University in 2014 and later wrote a master’s thesis on Star Trek fanzines. Guerrier worked for a legal research firm in D.C., according to a biography posted on the company’s website.

More from state police:

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office is investigating a fatal fire in Augusta County. The fire department was alerted to the fire at approximately 8:42 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 28, 2021). When fire crews arrived at the residence in the 300 block of Deerfield Valley Road, they found the house engulfed in flames. 

An adult male was flown to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, where he continues to be treated for life-threatening injuries sustained in the fire.

Fire crews recovered the remains of Jacqueline Guerrier, 30, of Arlington, Va., from inside the residence. [Their] remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. [Guerrier] was visiting family at the time of the fire. 

At this stage of the investigation, the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature. The cause and origin remain under investigation. 

Morning Notes

Construction cranes for Amazon HQ2 tower over Pentagon City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Initial Plan Filed for Americana Site — “JBG Smith has filed a conceptual site plan application with Arlington County for 1400 Richmond Highway [the Americana hotel site in Crystal City], proposing a by-right 19-story building with 650 residential units above retail. There will also be 325 parking spaces across two below-grade parking levels.” [UrbanTurf]

Apartment Fire in Ballston — A fire broke out in the kitchen of a fourth floor apartment at the View at Liberty Center building in Ballston yesterday evening. The fire was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system, but water damage was reported in the apartments and ground floor retail space below. The incident prompted a large fire department response and closed lanes on Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street. [Twitter]

Vax Rate Lags Among Younger Adults — “Pleading, cajoling, finger-wagging and threatening still don’t seem to be doing the trick in getting the 24-to-34-year-old age group in Arlington on board with COVID vaccinations. Data last week show that while 71 percent of county residents in that age group have received at least one jab of the vaccine… Countywide, just under 79 percent of 223,000 Arlington residents ages 5 and older have received at least one dose.” [Sun Gazette]

Thanksgiving 5K Along N. Pershing Drive — “The Arlington Turkey Trot 16th Annual 5k Fun Run will take place on Thursday, November 25, 2021. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures from approximately 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.” [ACPD]

Arlington Gets Perfect LGBT Equality ScoreUpdated at 8 a.m. — “Arlington garnered a 100-percent rate in the 10th annual Municipal Equality Index, reported by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The average score for 11 major localities in Virginia was 88 on a zero-to-100 scale, compared to a national average of 67. Arlington was among 110 communities earning a perfect rating, up from 11… when the survey debuted.” [Sun Gazette]

Metro Woes Extend to 2022 — “Metro customers can expect to see current (reduced) rail service levels through December 31, Metro announced today.  With no timeline established to return the 7000-series fleet in the interest of safety, and 6000-series railcars awaiting parts due to global supply chain challenges, incremental service improvements will be made during December as parts arrive for older model railcars.” [WMATA]

Snow Possibility in Forecast — From the Capital Weather Gang: “DC first flakes? Watching possibility of disturbance/clipper passing thru cold air Sun-Mon timeframe. It could shift or fizzle and probably not a big deal even if it hits, but first feature this season we’re watching with some curiosity.” [Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Sunny today, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Sunrise at 7 a.m. and sunset at 4:49 p.m. Tomorrow will be sunny, with a high near 47. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington and neighboring jurisdictions battled a house fire near Shirlington.

Fire companies were initially dispatched to the Windgate townhouse development on the 2500 block of S. Arlington Mill Road for a reported electrical fire. The fire turned out to be at the nextdoor Heatherlea condo complex, along 28th Road S.

Flames were visible from the outside of the residence when the first firefighters arrived on scene, according to radio traffic. The fire was mostly contained to the home’s exterior and was extinguished before it could spread further.

Everyone was able to get out of the home and so far no injuries have been reported.

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A man walked up to an American flag outside of a home in the Arlington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning and lit it on fire.

Arlington County police and fire investigators are now trying to find the suspect, a younger man who was wearing a hooded windbreaker and a backpack at the time. The motive for the crime is unclear.

The incident happened around 3 a.m., in the residential neighborhood several blocks away from Thomas Jefferson Middle School. It’s being investigated as arson.

“The unknown suspect approached an American flag on the victim’s porch and set it on fire,” said an ACPD crime report. “A witness observed the flag on fire and extinguished it. The suspect is described as a White male, 18 – 30 years old, 5’4″ – 5’11” tall and wearing a dark hooded windbreaker, jeans, white sneakers and carrying a backpack. A joint investigation with the Fire Marshal’s Office is ongoing.”

The resident of the home, who did not wish to be named, recounted what happened to ARLnow.

“We awoke to a neighbor banging on our front door and a burning flag, which had spread to the bush in our front yard,” he wrote. “Our neighbor put out the fire with a hose. We then saw the video of the person lighting the flag on fire.”

The video was shared with neighbors on an email listserv.

“No idea,” the resident said, when asked why someone would do this, adding that nothing like this has ever happened before in the area.

Hat tip to Smiley456

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Update on 9/24/21: We’re told that Dama is back open “with normal operations.”

Earlier: Firefighters are investigating a possible kitchen fire at Dama Pastry and Restaurant on Columbia Pike.

Units arrived on scene at the long-time Ethiopian eatery at 1503 Columbia Pike and found heavy smoke inside, which was billowing out of the building.

Kitchen staff told firefighters that the smoke was caused by a fire on the stove, which they put out using fire extinguishers, according to scanner traffic. No active fire was found by the time firefighters arrived; units are now being put back into service while others work to ventilate remaining smoke from the structure.

Columbia Pike is temporarily blocked between the Sheraton hotel and the Air Force Memorial due to the emergency response.

There’s no word yet on how long Dama might be closed after the fire. Typically, the local health department must approve the reopening after a fire.

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(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington and surrounding areas battled a house fire today in the Boulevard Manor neighborhood, near Bluemont Park.

Smoke could be seen coming from the top of a home on the 5900 block of 3rd Street N. as first responders arrived on the scene shortly before 12:30 p.m., according to scanner traffic. It took at least 30 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire, which reportedly started in the attic.

Initial reports suggest that people inside the house were able to get out safely. No one was injured. Three residents will be displaced by the blaze, according to the Arlington County Fire Department.

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Smoke rising above Crystal City from The Buchanan apartment fire (photo courtesy Will Wiard)

(Updated at 10:35 p.m.) A “large amount” of residents have been displaced after a fire at The Buchanan apartment building in Crystal City.

The fire on the 300 block of 23rd Street S. was reported around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Arlington County Fire Department said crews “found a fire in a 3rd floor apartment with significant smoke conditions.”

Smoke from the blaze could be seen from a distance, rising above Crystal City. Police closed 23rd Street for more than two hours while firefighters worked to extinguish the flames and remove smoke from the building.

One person was injured and taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay, according to ACFD. No firefighters were hurt. There’s no word yet on how the fire started nor for how long residents of the building may be displaced.

More via social media:

https://twitter.com/SoWhat_WhoCares/status/1431039795246112770

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(Updated 4:25 p.m.) Local firefighters handle all sorts of hazards. Today, one such hazard was a flaming pile of garbage.

The rubish’s rapid oxidation happened around noon today in front of Gunston Middle School, near Arlington Ridge. The blazing bags of refuse were reportedly dumped by a trash truck after the driver noticed smoke and flames coming from the back.

“He dumped his load that was on fire,” a witness tells ARLnow. “He did the right thing. Saved his truck.”

The quick thinking spared the truck and a bigger conflagration, but it left big mess in the Gunston parking lot. Arlington and Alexandria firefighters worked to douse the combusting crud, leaving a soggy heap of waste to be cleaned up.

The trash fire, no doubt seen by a metaphor by some, was caught on camera by Washington Post media reporter Jeremy Barr.

Arlington County police blocked S. Lang Street, in front of the school, during the firefighting effort. A fire department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Later this afternoon, the county’s Department of Environmental Services shed some light on what likely caused the fire — rechargeable batteries tossed into a recycling bin — and provided some advice on how to properly recycle such batteries.

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(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria and elsewhere battled a house fire in the Lyon Park neighborhood Tuesday night.

The fire was first reported around 8 p.m., near the bike trail at the intersection of N. Edgewood Street and 1st Road N. A tipster tells ARLnow they saw a column of smoke and fire trucks racing down Washington Blvd, en route to the scene.

“Crews arrived on scene locating fire to the rear of the structure,” the Arlington County Fire Department said via social media. “Crews are still actively engaged in fire suppression operations on the interior.”

A support crew from the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department was also called to the scene.

After a protracted firefighting effort involving 70 firefighters, the flames were finally reported out at 10:20 p.m. Two firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Arlington County Fire Department.

The cause of the fire was grilling too close to the house, ACFD announced Wednesday morning, reminding residents to keep grills away from the sides of homes. The blaze caused more than $350,000 in damage.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Structure Fire Near Ballston — “Units located a detached structure on fire behind a house with minor extension to the house. The fire was quickly extinguished with no reports of injuries to firefighters or civilians. The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Plane Runs Off DCA Runway — “A Frontier Airlines plane slid off the end of the runway at Reagan National Airport Friday night. Flight 538 from Denver was arriving at the airport at about 10:30 p.m. when the incident happened, Micah Lillard of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said.” [WTOP]

Apparent Drowning in Potomac — “Several agencies said they called off a search for a swimmer in the Potomac River near Fletcher’s Boathouse Sunday. D.C. Fire and EMS called the situation an apparent drowning… Shortly after 3 p.m., a witness reported seeing a person try to swim the river from the Virginia side and not resurface, the fire department said. D.C. Police fire boats and units from the Harbor station, Arlington Fire Department boats and a Maryland State Police helicopter were assisting in the search.” [NBC 4, Twitter]

Arlington Ridge Water Work — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services: “Monday night – Tuesday morning: Water main maintenance work near S Arlington Ridge Road/Long Branch Creek could cause temporary low water pressure or service outages for nearby customers, 8pm to 8am.” [Twitter]

Sheriff Supports New Police Chief — From Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur: “Today, more than ever, police chiefs must commit to the principles of trust, accountability and transparency. I believe Andy [Penn] has demonstrated leadership in each of these areas and I look forward serving the Arlington community alongside him in his new role.” [Arlington County]

Mixed-Use Tower in Ballston for Sale — “The owners of Ballston’s tallest building are exploring its sale. Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) and the Shooshan Co., the developers behind 4040 Wilson Blvd., the final phase of the larger Liberty Center project, have put the $217 million tower on the market. The 23-story, 250-foot-tall building, completed last year, includes 225,000 square feet of office on the lower 10 floors topped by 250 apartments.” [Washington Business Journal]

Beyer Supports Fusion Power Research — “”If we do not pursue fusion energy, others will, and U.S. economic interests and influence will diminish as a result,” writes @RepDonBeyer in @sciam, arguing this energy tech can help the climate emergency and create #trillions of $$$ in economic growth.” [Twitter, Scientific American]

Newspaper Editor Attacked by Cicadas — From Sun Gazette Editor Scott McCaffrey’s blog: “The cicadas largely have left me alone, although two did get on my pants over the weekend and surreptitiously made it into Casa de Scotty… I gently removed those buggies and deposited them back outside so they could continue their search for love in what little time they have left on this earth. But yesterday, taking a midday walk around Falls Church, a more aggressive cicada flew right into the back of my shirt and started wriggling his (or her) way deeper in.” [Sun Gazette]

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