Mt. Olivet Methodist Church suffered about $1 million in damage as a result of an early morning fire on Friday.
That’s according to the Arlington County Fire Department, which also said in a press release today (Monday) that the cause of the fire in the church’s attic “remains undetermined.”
At approximately 2:42 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, the Arlington County Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire in the 1500 block of N. Glebe Road.
Units quickly arrived on the scene and found fire through the roof of the structure. Due to significant smoke conditions and amount of work required to extinguish the fire, a second alarm was quickly requested bringing additional firefighters to the scene. The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes of dispatch time, and firefighters then worked carefully to remove material from the area of origin to fully check for hot spots or any fire extension.
Units from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Alexandria Fire Department, and Joint Base Myer – Henderson Hall Fire Department assisted on this incident.
The Arlington County Fire Prevention Office conducted a thorough origin and cause investigation and concluded that the fire started in the attic space; currently the cause remains undetermined. Initial estimated damages are $1,000,000.
Located at 1500 N. Glebe Road, just north of Ballston, Mt. Olivet is built on the oldest church site in continuous use in Arlington.
There’s no word yet on when services inside the church might resume. Mt. Olivet’s pastor said the sanctuary and preschool wings of the church were not damaged, though the music and education wing likely has “extensive smoke and water damage.”
The church held an outdoor worship service on Sunday, as covered by NBC 4.
There was a fire early this morning at Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, the oldest church site in continuous use in Arlington.
The fire broke out at the church, located at 1500 N. Glebe Road near Ballston, before 3 a.m. and prompted a two-alarm response. Flames could be seen coming from the roof of the building, according to scanner traffic.
“The fire began in the attic above the music and education wing. Thankfully no one was in the building and there are no injuries,” the church said in an update posted by its pastor this morning. “There is likely extensive smoke and water damage to that part of the building. The sanctuary and preschool wings were not harmed.”
Sunday morning worship will not be held in the building but the church says it is working on an alternate plan.
The Arlington County Fire Department is currently investigating the cause of the blaze, which was extinguished by firefighters before it could spread to other parts of the building.
2-ALARM CHURCH FIRE (2:43 a.m.)— Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 1500 North Glebe Rd in Arlington Co. Fire showing from roof. Firefighters are getting at the fire now. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/XH8AXB8NyG
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) October 14, 2022
#UPDATE – Crews are in the process of removing debris from the structure and our Fire Prevention Office remains on scene to conduct their cause and origin investigation. No injuries to civilians or firefighters.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) October 14, 2022
The full update from the church is below.
Dear Mount Olivet Family,
You have likely heard the news of a fire at Mount Olivet early this morning, Friday, October 14.
The fire began in the attic above the music and education wing. Thankfully no one was in the building and there are no injuries.
Thanks to many fire fighters and first responders from Arlington, Fairfax, and Falls Church, the fire has been extinguished.
There is likely extensive smoke and water damage to that part of the building. The sanctuary and preschool wings were not harmed.
Due to the ongoing nature of this situation, we will not be able to hold worship in our building this Sunday morning. Once we know what our plan will be for Sunday morning worship and beyond, we will let you know!
Currently, the building is not secure and the fire investigation is on going. Please do not enter the building until further notice.
We are beyond grateful that no one was injured and this was no worse than it is, but we still ask that you be in prayer for our community, clergy, and staff as we navigate the following days and weeks.
Grace and Peace,
A boy who was running on the Custis Trail near Ballston was stabbed and seriously injured by an unknown assailant Saturday night.
The stabbing happened around 8:45 p.m., on the trail near the 4700 block of Washington Blvd.
“At approximately 8:49 p.m. on August 27, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing that had just occurred,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “Upon arrival, officers located the juvenile male victim and administered medical care until the arrival of medics. The victim was transported to an area hospital with injuries considered serious but non-life threatening.”
“After further investigation, it was determined the victim was running along the Custis Trail prior to Washington Boulevard when an unknown male suspect allegedly approached, stabbed him and fled the scene on foot,” ACPD said.
Officers closed a portion of Washington Blvd west of N. Glebe Road and called in a helicopter to help search for the suspect. Ultimately, the suspect — described only as “an Asian or Hispanic male wearing a striped shirt and shorts” — was not found and remains at large.
“A lookout for the suspect was broadcast and a search of the area was conducted, with the assistance of a police helicopter, which yielded negative results,” said the crime report. “The investigation is ongoing.”
POLICE ACTIVITY: ACPD is investigating a stabbing in the 4700 block of Washington Blvd. The male victim was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A helicopter is assisting with an aerial search for the suspect. Expect continued police activity in the area. pic.twitter.com/QqzkQgAxPZ
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) August 28, 2022
A local teen is in custody and two others are being sought by police after an alleged drug deal led to a serious assault.
The incident happened shortly after 11 p.m. last night in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, near Ballston. Police say an arranged sale of narcotics ended with the victim being beaten with batons by several people.
The victim was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Police searched the area and arrested a 19-year-old suspect while he was walking along the nearby Custis Trail. Two other suspects have been identified and are expected to face charges, police said.
More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY MOB, 2020-12140181, 4600 block of 13th Street N. At approximately 11:17 p.m. on December 14, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Arriving officers located the victim, who had sustained serious injuries, and rendered aid prior to the arrival of medics. The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious, but non life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that the victim and three suspects met for the arranged sale of narcotics, and a physical altercation ensued between the parties. The suspects allegedly struck the victim multiple times with batons, causing lacerations. A bystander yelled at the involved parties, at which time, the suspects fled on foot. Officers canvasing the area located Suspect One walking on the Custis Trail, made contact with him, and took him into custody without incident. Anthony Silvers, 19, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob. He was held on no bond. The other involved suspects were identified and charges are pending.
Also on Monday, a pair of suspects broke into, damaged and stole from four businesses in Clarendon and East Falls Church.
COMMERCIAL BURGLARY (series), 2020-12140035/0039/0052/0089, 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street/1100 block of N. Hudson Street/ 3000 block of Washington Boulevard. Overnight on December 14, two unknown suspects forced entry to four businesses, causing damage. At approximately 2:27 a.m., the suspects forced entry to business one in the 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street, tampered with items, and stole a safe. At approximately 2:20 a.m., the suspects forced entry to business two, also in the 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street, and rummaged through items, however, nothing was reported stolen. Between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., the suspects forced entry to a third business in the 1100 block of N. Hudson Street and stole a safe and an undisclosed amount of cash. At approximately 2:45 a.m., the suspects forced entry to a fourth business in the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard, and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Suspect One is described as a tall male, wearing a light colored jacket with the hood up, dark pants, black shoes and light colored gloves. Suspect Two is described as a tall male, wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood up, black pants, white gloves, black shoes, and a light colored face wrap. The investigations are ongoing.
Map via Google Maps
(Updated 11/19/20 at 6:30 p.m.) Along with the coming cold snap and the yearly debate over when to play Christmas music, the arrival of Arlington’s annual Christmas tree sales are one of the signs the holiday season is upon us.
This year, some of the volunteer organizations and churches that hold the sales have changed their operations, with health and safety precautions in mind.
One is seeking County Board approval this weekend to return to the same location as last year.
The South Arlington Lions Club is asking Arlington County to allow it to set up a Christmas tree stand at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive, in a small county-owned parking lot. The County Board is slated to review the permit request on Saturday.
The Lions Club shop for trees, wreaths and garlands is scheduled to run from Saturday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 12. Members and volunteers will be manning the pop-up location at the following times.
- Monday to Friday — noon-8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday — 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Optimist Club of Arlington, meanwhile, will start selling trees, wreaths and garlands on Friday, Nov. 27 in the Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). The lot will be open every day until December 23, with the following hours:
- Monday to Thursday — 2-8 p.m.
- Friday — noon-8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday — 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Among the sales facing pandemic-era changes is that held by the Clarendon United Methodist Church.
The church has 150 Christmas trees available for sale until Nov. 22. That’s less than half of what the church typically orders, and the trees are only available for pre-sale. Due to the coronavirus, buyers cannot pick out the exact tree they want.
“Although this year is a bit different because of COVID-19, CUMC wants to help you celebrate the season with the beautiful sight and scent of a freshly-cut Fraser Balsam Cross Fir Christmas Tree,” the website said.
The six- to eight-foot tall trees cost $75, and the proceeds from the sale benefit Arlington Thrive. The nonprofit provides emergency financial assistance to residents experiencing a sudden financial crisis.
The church encourages those who are interested to visit its website and nab one soon because “once they’re gone, they’re gone!”
The boys and girls of Troop 167 have kicked off online pre-sales of Christmas trees, which come in three sizes, along with 25-inch wreaths. On-site sales will open at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church (1500 N. Glebe Road) on Nov. 26, 27 and 28 and the following weekend, Dec. 4, 5 and 6.
The hours for the pop-up at Mount Olivet are:
- Friday — 4-8 p.m.
- Saturday — 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Sunday — noon-6 p.m.
Due to the coronavirus, the scouts are offering a contact-less experience. Customers can order online and the scouts will deliver the trees and wreaths to customers’ homes. Trees cost $15 to deliver and wreaths $10. For both, the delivery fee would be $15.
“We will follow best advice health and safety protocols to make the experience as safe as possible for everyone, including the wearing of face coverings by all,” the troop’s website said.
Proceeds from the sales support a year’s worth of Scouting activities for the boys and girls of Troop 167.
Boy Scout Troop 162 will sell Christmas trees and rope in the parking lot of the Dominion Hills pool at 6000 Wilson Blvd. For COVID-19 protections, customers will be limited to ensure social-distancing and have the option to pay in advance with PayPal and have the tree delivered.
All proceeds subsidize the troop’s camping and outdoor activities.
The scouts’ shop first day of business is Friday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. After that, the hours are:
- Monday through Fridays — 4-8:30 p.m.
- Saturday and Sundays — 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
For the first time, this troop has partnered with Arlington Food Assistance Center to provide trees to those who are less fortunate.
“We have committed to provide trees to a minimum number of families and hope to exceed it,” Troop 162 Committee Secretary Alysia Fullen said in an email. “We welcome donations from our customers to support this effort.”
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (4000 Lorcom Lane) is selling fresh trees from Vermont, beginning on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend and continuing through Dec. 12 and 13, or while supplies last.
The first weekend of sales will be from Nov. 27 to 29. On Friday and Saturday, sales will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After that the schedule is:
- Saturdays — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sundays — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Do you know of other local sale locations not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments.
A SWAT raid prompted a large police presence just north of Ballston this morning.
At least one lane of N. Glebe Road was blocked as Arlington County police executed a search warrant at a home near the corner of Glebe and 13th Street N., in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood. Numerous police vehicles and a fire department vehicle could be seen in the area.
The police activity has now largely cleared out.
ACPD spokeswoman Kirby Clark said the deployment was “part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.”
There were at least two other drug-related SWAT actions earlier this year in Arlington, although it’s unclear if either are related to today’s raid.
In February a man was arrested after a SWAT team swarmed a condo complex across from the Virginia Square Metro station. In March ACPD tactical teams took several people into custody after surrounding a vehicle in a parking lot near Columbia Pike, as part of a narcotics investigation.
There’s precious little open, developable land left in Arlington, but one of the bigger privately-owned properties is now for sale.
A 1.72 acre property at 1722 N. Glebe Road, adjacent to Glebe Elementary School and Capital Life Church, is listed for sale at $8,820,117. Previously home to Hill’s Nursery and Camellia Garden, the property includes a boarded-up house built in 1941 but is otherwise mostly trees and empty land across three connected lots.
“It’s the largest property on the market in Arlington right now, even though it’s listed online as 1.32 acres, across all three lots it’s actually 1.72,” said the listing agent, Jeena Ingraham of Samson Properties.
The asking price has been marked down from $9.9 million when it was first listed on July 23.
“Rarely available, tear-down and build in North Arlington, very close to D.C. Previously the Hill Nursery, the property is being sold as is,” the listing says, adding that it’s “7 miles from Amazon’s HQ2.”
Though the property is adjacent to Glebe Elementary, an Arlington Public Schools spokesman said the school system has no plans to purchase it.
There are also no plans for Arlington County to acquire the lots, a spokeswoman for the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services said, even though the county has been actively trying to acquire properties for public use.
The minimum lot requirement for a single-family home in Arlington’s R-6 zoning district is 6,000 square feet, so 12 homes could potentially fit in 1.72 acres. However, it would require a lengthy subdivision process with the County, which Ingraham said she has not begun.
“We’ve had plenty of interest from investors and developers looking to build their family-home portfolio, but nothing confirmed yet,” she said.
Nearby homes listed on real estate website Redfin average in the $1 million range, suggesting that whoever purchases it will likely need to build several properties to turn a profit.
As for the owner and the nearly $9 million listing price?
“He’s a native to Arlington, and it’s his vision,” Ingraham said.
Image 1, 3 via Google Maps, Image 2 via Samson Properties
The wall once divided the white Waycroft-Woodlawn subdivision from the black Hall’s Hill neighborhood was partially destroyed by this morning’s storm and flooding.
A section of brick wall, which was first constructed in the 1930s to close off the segregated neighborhood, collapsed amid fast-moving floodwaters.
Video showed the floodwaters rushing past the wall and into a garden below.
— Ted Bloss (@tedbloss) July 8, 2019
A nearby marker tells the history of the wall. Much of the wall was destroyed in 1966 when Arlington County purchased nearby properties and dismantled sections of it.
Nearby residents had mixed feelings on the wall’s destruction.
“It should have been knocked down years ago,” said Herb Ramos, who lived across the street from the wall. “They put up the marker, they should have gotten rid of the wall and removed the eyesore.”
But others said they were happy to see school children brought over in recent years to see the first-hand evidence of segregation in the county and were sorry to see that history get washed away.
“We need to remember the past so as not to repeat it,” said Cait, another neighbor. “It was a historic site for a reason. We need to preserve the memory of things the African-American neighborhood went through. It’s not the most beautiful wall, but we need to face that ugliness.”
— Ted Bloss (@tedbloss) July 8, 2019
Hat tip to @tedbloss
A Falls Church couple is searching frantically for their missing dog, which disappeared last week in Arlington under some strange circumstances.
Solange and Craig Bone said they left their dog Sookie with a dog-sitter on N. Frederick Street in Waycroft-Woodlawn while they went out of town. They returned around 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, only to be greeted by the news that Sookie had disappeared earlier that day at around noon.
Solange Bone said they began putting fliers up immediately, and received phone calls from people nearby who said they had seen Sookie going along N. George Mason Drive, near Virginia Hospital Center.
Three days later, Bone said they received a call from a woman who said Sookie crossed Lee Highway on August 17 and walked to the area of N. Dickerson Street, where she was cornered by two good Samaritans.
But then, Bone said, when someone went inside to grab a leash for the dog, a man appeared and began to hold the dog. He then allegedly got into his car and drove away with her.
The man is described as being Hispanic and in his late 50s or early 60s, wearing thick black-rimmed glasses. He had a medium build and was driving a brown Toyota Camry or Corolla.
Bone said they have tried everything to get Sookie back, from putting up fliers to alerting local animal shelters, sending out automated calls and hiring a dog tracker to try and follow her scent. Bone said it is complicated by the fact that her collar has been removed.
“Literally, we haven’t slept,” Bone said. “We’ve been looking for her non-stop since we found out.”
Bone added that the Arlington County Police Department took a report on the case, but were unlikely to do more as the department typically does not search for missing pets. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed Bone’s account of events, but had no further information.
There have not been additional sightings since the one in the Yorktown neighborhood, Bone said. The couple is offering a $1,500 reward to anyone who has any information on Sookie’s whereabouts.
Bone said that she is most concerned with getting her dog back, and is not as interested in punishing anyone who might have taken her, accidentally or otherwise.
“I don’t want to couch it as she’s been stolen or anything like that,” Bone said. “I just want her safe return. I just want whoever it is to just, no questions asked, we just want her back.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 949-606-2598.
Photo No. 3 via Google Maps.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday is expected to consider five neighborhood improvement projects with a cumulative price tag of $5.3 million.
The projects have been advanced by a county committee via Arlington’s Neighborhood Conservation Program, which encourages neighborhoods to apply for funding for various types of local improvements.
The projects set for approval are:
- A new neighborhood sign for Long Branch Creek ($12,500)
- Street improvements and new streetlights along 31st Street S. in Fairlington, between S. Randolph and Woodrow Streets ($1.7 million)
- New streetlights on S. Oak, Ode and Orme Streets in Foxcroft Heights ($562,704)
- Intersection improvements along 2nd Street S. at S. Wayne, Uhle and Wise Streets in Penrose ($1.6 million)
- Street improvements along N. George Mason Drive between 11th Street N. and I-66 in Waycroft-Woodlawn ($1.4 million)
The County Board is expected to vote on the Neighborhood Conservation projects at its Saturday meeting. The measure also includes an additional $200,000 for the county’s “Missing Link Program,” which funds the construction of small stretches of new sidewalk to connect existing sidewalks.
Children already are climbing on equipment at the two newly renovated playgrounds at Woodlawn Park, ahead of this weekend’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ceremony will take place at the park (1325 N. Buchanan Street) this Saturday, April 22, at 4 p.m.
Members of the community — including kids — helped design the new playgrounds. As part of the renovation process, the new equipment was installed farther away from the creek than the previous fixtures had been.
Invasive plants were removed and the area along the creek has been reforested with native trees, shrubs and perennials. The park also now offers better accessibility. Lawn aeration and overseeding will be completed next week.
The County Board approved funding for the $795,000 neighborhood improvement project in 2014, and construction began last August. A federal grant funded part of the reforestation.
The park remains open and usable in the time leading up to the ribbon cutting.