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There was a fire earlier this week at the 8200 block of Crestwood Heights Drive in Tysons, but even before Fairfax Fire & Rescue arrived it was doused by the building’s sprinkler system.

The fire started just after midnight in an upper-floor apartment of a 19-story high-rise building. There were no injuries and $200 in damages.

Bill Delaney, a public affairs officer for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said fires being taken out by sprinklers before firefighters arrive is uncommon, given that sprinklers are only typical in newer high rise buildings.

“Sprinklers are mostly located in high-rise buildings, condos, apartments,” said Delaney. “Also a variety of commercial type buildings and businesses. Older types of those buildings do not have fire sprinklers as it was not a requirement at the time they were built.”

Delaney said the fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. Delaney noted that this was the sixth fire in 2019 caused by discarded cigarettes or other smoking devices. One last week caused significant damage to a home after cigarettes were thrown into the trash.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offered a few suggestions for safely disposing of cigarettes.

  • Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
  • Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
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Morning Notes

Firefighter Training in McLean Home — “[Fairfax County Fire and Rescue] units have been conducting ladder truck training exercises at a donated home, in the McLean area, that is slated for demolition.” [Twitter]

New Store Opening in Tysons Galleria — “Lafayette 148 New York has ventured into the nation’s capital, opening its first Greater Washington location this week in the Tysons Galleria shopping center. Its first freestanding boutique in the Mid-Atlantic region, the new Lafayette 148 shop measures 2,500 square feet.” [Washington Business Journal]

Silver Line Test Train Doesn’t Get Far — “The first test train on Metro’s Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport made it only 1,000 feet out of the Wiehle-Reston East station before running into trouble, sources told News4.” [NBC Washington]

Falls Church Development Includes Micro Units — “If approved by the F.C. City Council going forward [the new West End development will] include an extra 150,000 square feet in residential density, including 50,000 square feet for senior housing and 100,000 square feet for 40 or so of the first new condominiums built in the City in over a decade, and even more notable, some 150-175 ‘micro unit’ rentals.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Turmoil in Richmond, Leaders’ Future Uncertain — Under fire for each of their own controversies, resignations by Virginia’s Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general could end up triggering a special election or even elevating a Republican state lawmaker into one of the top jobs. Meanwhile, the chaos in Richmond was the lead story on the national evening news this week — twice — and made the cover of this morning’s New York Post, with the headline “Virginia is for Losers.” [Politico, Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Lee Highway Blocked — Updated at 9:05 a.m. — “Lee Highway is shut down in both directions at Kalmia Lee Court in Falls Church due to utility wires across the roadway. Please use an alternate route as you travel this morning.” [Twitter]

Longtime Local Firefighter Retires — “Today Master Technician George Hood from Station 13, Dunn Loring, B-Shift is serving the residents of Fairfax County one last time. He will be retiring after 34 years of dedicated service at the end of this shift.” [Facebook]

McLean Girl’s Struggle with Arthritis — “Last August, 2-year-old Reese Sheers began waking up, saying she was stuck and couldn’t move her arms. Then it started happening every two hours, and she couldn’t roll over or sit up in her crib. She would get better as the day went on, but the pain would become frequent enough that the family would seek medical help.” [Patch]

Author Signing Books in Tysons Tonight — Columnist Michael Tomasky will be signing copies of his new book “If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved,” at the Tysons Barnes & Noble store tonight. [Instagram]

Discussion of the Gender Pay Gap — “The Women of Temple Rodef Shalom (2100 Westmoreland St., Falls Church) will be hosting a comprehensive forum titled, ‘Gender Pay Gap and You’ as a part of the fifth annual Women’s Empowerment Program on Sunday, Feb. 10.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Get those smoke alarms checked, because if you’re a Vienna resident that could get you a free pizza on Thursday.

Domino’s Pizza is partnering with the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department for Fire Night. On Feb. 7, anyone ordering at the Vienna Domino’s from 5-8 p.m. may have their pizza delivered in a fire engine.

According to the event description, once the delivery arrives, the firefighters will come inside and inspect the smoke detectors throughout the house. If all the smoke detectors are working, the order is free.

If any of the smoke detectors are not working, the firefighters will replace them for free, but the person who called in will be charged for the pizza.

Participation in the event is not required and is only eligible for deliveries.

Card payments are taken in advance and canceled if the order is free. Cash payment will be required if card information is not provided while placing your order if smoke detectors are not working.

Photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Fire at Tysons Corner Center Garage — Firefighters extinguished a car fire that scorched part of a Tysons Corner Center parking garage and filled the area with smoke Saturday afternoon. [Twitter]

Fire Department Hiring Firefighter/EMTs — “Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will begin accepting applications for the position of Firefighter/EMT on Saturday, January 26, 2019. The application period is currently scheduled to remain open throughout 2019.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

‘Stuff the Bus’ on Track for Huge Haul — “By the time this year’s Stuff the Bus concludes on Feb. 18, the county expects to surpass 250,000 pounds of collected food.” [Fairfax Times]

Snow May Snarl Tuesday PM Commute — Per Fairfax County: “If you plan on commuting Tuesday evening, be aware of the potential for travel disruptions. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.” [Twitter, National Weather Service]

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Update on 1/25/19: The fire started when a large tree fell onto power lines servicing the building, resulting in a power surge within the electrical panel located in the basement, said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. There were no injuries, but the damage from the fire is approximately $25,000.

(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Firefighters are on scene of a two-alarm structure fire in the Town of Vienna.

The blaze broke out in a basement of the Pennywise Thrift Shop, at the intersection of Church and Mill streets, around 12:30 p.m. As of 1:05 p.m., firefighters on the scene said that the fire was still burning but was largely under control. As of 1:20 p.m., firefighters were removing portions of walls on the first floor, reporting that additional fire was burning in the walls.

Numerous road closures have been reported in the area. So far, no injuries have been reported.

The thrift shop has been open since 1961 and sells “affordable, lightly used clothing and household items,” according to its website. The store is run by Vienna’s Church of the Holy Comforter.

A tree fell on utility lines near the store, causing a hazard for firefighters, according to a fire department spokesperson, but it’s not clear whether that might have also helped to cause the fire.

As of 2 p.m., the fire was out and investigators were working to determine the cause.

One local resident told Tysons Reporter that she is concerned about how the thrift store will be able to recover and what will happen to everything inside.

“I’m worried about all of the merchandise in the thrift store there,” the resident said. “It’s probably all smoke damaged now.”

Units are on scene of building fire in the 100 block of Church St NE in Vienna. A Second Alarm was requested. Fire is out. No injuries reported at this time. Most units going in service shortly. Video from earlier in fire. #fcfrd #fairfaxcounty #fire

Posted by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department on Thursday, January 24, 2019

Photo (8) via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

New Theater Coming to Tysons Galleria — “The soon-to-close Macy’s at Tysons Galleria will be replaced with multiple storefronts — including what appears to be an iPic movie theater — each with their own facade and materials to set them apart. That’s the word from a Fairfax County staff report published last week ahead of a planning commission hearing on an amended sign plan for the Galleria, which specifically addresses the 260,000-square-foot Macy’s. That store alone accounts for 30 percent of the upscale Galleria.” [Washington Business Journal]

Journalist’s Mosque Opposition Questioned — The leader of the community opposition to an expansion of the McLean Islamic Center’s prayer service is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi asks: should mainstream journalists be taking activist stances against religious institutions, even in a community setting? [Washington Post]

McLean Fire Causes Extensive Damage — The manage estimate from Friday’s big house fire in McLean is $1.1 million. Three people were displaced by the fire. The cause is still under investigation, according to the Fairfax County Fire Department. [Facebook]

Positive Results for I-66 Tolls — “Since HOV lanes went into effect on I-66 one year ago, the results have been largely positive. Carpooling has increased, and motorists are traveling at higher speeds and experiencing fewer collisions thanks to less congestion.” [Greater Greater Washington, WTOP]

DXC Makes Another Acquisition — “Tysons-based DXC Technology announced Monday plans to acquire Luxoft Holding Inc. (NYSE: LXFT) in a deal worth roughly $2 billion. The New York-based Luxoft provides digital strategy consulting and engineering services for countries across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.” [Washington Business Journal, BusinessWire]

Photo courtesy @tysonspartners

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(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Firefighters battled a major, two-alarm house fire on Malta Lane in McLean this afternoon.

The fire broke out shortly after 1:30 p.m. on the 6600 block of Malta Lane, a narrow no-outlet street on the other side of Georgetown Pike from Langley High School. Firefighters from Fairfax County, Arlington County and Montgomery County were dispatched to the scene.

Initial reports suggest arriving units found heavy fire coming from the second floor of a large home, but struggled to find sufficient water pressure from hydrants in the area to battle the flames. Water tankers were subsequently dispatched to assist.

A partial collapse of the structure was reported, according to the Fairfax County Fire Department. The unsafe conditions delayed the search for victims inside the house, but all occupants have since been accounted for.

As of 2:45 p.m., most of the fire was out but firefighters were still trying to extinguish hot spots. The home has suffered “significant damage,” according to those on scene. Thus far, no injuries have been reported.

A fireground commander said he expects firefighters to remain on scene “for an extended period of time.” The county fire marshal’s office will be investigating the cause of the blaze.

Map via Google Maps

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Fairfax County is putting together a comprehensive plan for public safety in the county’s use of unmanned aircraft, and is looking for public feedback.

The Fairfax County Unmanned Aircraft Systems program is a proposal to incorporate drones into government operations, with a particular focused on public safety. The draft says examples of drone usage includes:

  • Search and rescue
  • Flooding assessments
  • Pre- and post-disaster damage assessments
  • Crash reconstruction
  • Fire incident/scene management and investigations
  • Hazardous materials responses
  • Wildlife estimation

The draft also says the drones would not be used to conduct random surveillance activities or to harass individuals.

Six public meetings are scheduled to discuss the issue with representatives of the Office of Emergency Management, county attorney’s office, police and fire and rescue department. Presentations at each of the meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

  • Jan. 14, 2019 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    Mason District Governmental Center (Community Room)
    6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale
  • Jan. 16, 2019 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    South County Governmental Center (Room 221C)
    8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria
  • Jan. 23, 2019 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    McLean District Governmental Center
    1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean
  • Jan. 24, 2019 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    Sully District Governmental Center
    4900 Stonecroft Blvd, Chantilly
  • Jan. 28, 2019 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
    Reston Community Center – Hunter Woods
    2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston
  • Jan. 30, 2019 (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.)
    Braddock Hall – Kings Park Library
    9002 Burke Lake Road, Burke

Public comments can also be submitted to [email protected] before close-of-business on Feb. 8 to be included in the written record.

Photo via Flickr/Joe Loong

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Tysons is getting too big for just one fire station.

The Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department is planning on constructing a new fire station to cover the growing Tysons East neighborhood.

The entire Tysons area is currently covered by Fire Station 29, which has become increasingly overburdened as new development adds new density and new challenges.

Laurie Stone, planning section manager for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, said the station is currently in the design process.

Stone said the fire station is being designed and constructed by Cityline Partners LLC, the company backing the Scotts Run Station South development. Cityline agreed to build the new station in exchange for winning permission to construct the new mixed-use development adjacent to the McLean Metro station.

“The Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 is proposed to be a two-level, three-bay free standing fire station located on Old Meadow Lane,” Stone wrote in an email. “Cityline will substantially complete the fire station and deliver it to Fairfax County by December 31, 2020.”

According to the staff report, a new athletic field will also be built adjacent to the planned fire station to be opened within three years of the fire station opening.

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