A house in Tysons caught fire after being struck by a lightning bolt during last night’s thunderstorm, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.
Fairfax and Arlington county firefighters were dispatched to a two-story, single-family house in the 1900 block of Hull Road at approximately 8:57 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday).
Upon arriving at the scene, the units could see fire showing through the house’s roof. They “rapidly” extinguished the fire, and there were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries, according to the FCFRD report.
However, four occupants of the house have been displaced, and the blaze resulted in approximately $90,000 in damages.
FCFRD says that the house’s four occupants were all at home when the fire started:
Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. The occupants heard a loud bang, saw a flash of lightning, and then smelled smoke. All occupants evacuated the home. 9-1-1 was called. Smoke alarms did not sound due to the location of the fire.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was natural in nature and started on the exterior of the home. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike.
The Fairfax County and Arlington fire departments also responded to a house fire in the 7700 block of Virginia Lane in Falls Church last night. A cause and estimate of damages have not been announced yet, but the blaze did not result in any reported injuries.
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) May 27, 2021
Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
CVS Allows Walk-in Vaccine Appointments — CVS Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to walk-in appointments and same-day scheduling at all stores in Virginia, joining Giant, which started allowing walk-ins at its pharmacies on Monday (May 3). CVS has three stores in Vienna, two in Merrifield, eight in Falls Church, and one in McLean. [Patch]
McLean Central Park Plan Meeting Set — Fairfax County will hold a virtual public information meeting at 7 p.m. on May 24 to share a development concept for McLean Central Park based on a master plan that was last revised in 2013. Potential new facilities for the 28-acre public park on Dolley Madison Boulevard include a dog park, an ampitheater, and trail improvements. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Tysons Corner Launches “DreamStart” Competition for Businesses — Tysons Corner Center is inviting entrepreneurs to pitch their product, service, or business concepts for the chance to get pop-up retail space. With applications due May 24, the contest winners will debut in the mall this summer with three months of free rent, a grand opening community event, and marketing support. [Tysons Corner Center]
McLean Volunteer Firefighter Reads for Charity — “On Wednesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. families can tune into “Read Me A Story,” a virtual event featuring a firefighter reading a story. The virtual literacy event is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a nonprofit preschool.” [Patch]
McLean Youth Soccer Unveils New Logo — “McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) and Springfield South County Youth Club (SYC) unveiled the name and logo for the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) alliance announced earlier this month. The new alliance will be known as Virginia Union FC.” [SoccerWire]
Sameday Health in Tysons Offers Vaccinations — “Vaccinations began this week at Sameday Health‘s Tysons location, a parking lot at 1981 Chain Bridge Road. This is the same location offering PCR and rapid testing. In a few weeks, the location will transition from a testing and vaccination site to solely a vaccination site.” [Patch]
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Sees Increase in Emergency Incidents — “Firefighters/Paramedics responded to 1,985 incidents last week! An increase of almost 5.5% in overall incidents from previous week.” [FCFRD/Twitter]
WeWork Offers Two Months Rent-Free at Tysons Space — “The company is offering two months of free private office space at select locations in the D.C. region with a six-month commitment or three months free with a commitment of 12 months…Outside of the District, only WeWork’s locations at the University of Maryland, in Ballston, and Tysons are participating.” [Washington Business Journal]
A house fire on the 9700 block of Meadowlark Road in Vienna displaced seven people on Tuesday (March 16).
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units were dispatched to the single-family home at approximately 6:04 p.m. There was “heavy fire and smoke showing” when they arrived on the scene, the FCFRD said in a report released yesterday.
While no civilians were injured, one cat died in the fire, and a firefighter was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The firefighter has since been released.
The fire was detected when one of the three people who were in the house at the time smelled smoke. The occupants evacuated and called 9-1-1 after seeing smoke and fire issuing from the basement. Three dogs were also present and “escaped the fire unharmed,” according to the county fire department.
“Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement,” the FCFRD said. “The cause of the fire was combustible materials too close to the operating fireplace.”
The fire produced approximately $378,750 in damages. The house’s seven residents are receiving Red Cross assistance after being displaced.
This is the fourth house fire reported in Vienna within the past 10 days.
A house fire on Bowling Green Drive on March 10 and one on Hunt Country Lane in the Wolf Trap area on March 11 each displaced two people. There was also a house fire on Baton Drive in Vienna on Monday (March 15). No people were at home at the time, but neighbors saved a dog that was present.
A combination of strong winds, relatively low humidity, and warming temperatures makes fires more common during this time of the year, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.
When the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County on March 11, the Fairfax County fire department warned that cigarettes and other smoking materials discarded in mulch or brush could spark a significant fire.
A house fire on Baton Drive in Vienna yesterday afternoon (Monday) might have turned into a tragedy, if not for the intervention of a few quick-thinking, canine-loving neighbors.
The blaze occurred between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on the 1900 block of Baton Drive, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Morrison confirmed to Tysons Reporter that units from his department also responded to the incident.
James Madison High School student Peyton Van Stone had just returned home from walking his family’s dog and was chatting outside with Ann Haines, a neighbor from across the street, when they noticed smoke issuing from a house a few doors down the road.
From there, Peyton says he stopped thinking and just acted.
“Me and [Haines] just ran up to the house to check it out and see what was happening, because it looked like there was a fire, or at least there was a lot of black smoke coming out,” he told Tysons Reporter this morning during a break in his online classes.
After another passerby called 9-1-1, Haines called the house’s resident, who is a friend since they often take their dogs on walks around the same time. She learned that no people were home, but their dog — a Rottweiler named Daisy — was inside in a crate.
Upon finding that the front door was locked, Peyton asked the next-door neighbors if they had a key before going around the back of the house and finding a way inside.
The fire had started outside the house near a detached garage, but it was spreading to the main structure by the time Peyton and Haines dashed upstairs to let Daisy out of her crate. Haines had a leash and was able to lead the dog outside, a feat made easier by Daisy’s familiarity with her.
After that, Peyton says fire trucks arrived to put out the blaze, and they later reunited Daisy with her owners.
“I’m glad everyone was okay,” Peyton said. “…I mean, I would hope someone would do the same for my dog, so I was just looking out for another neighbor, because that’s man’s best friend, a dog.”
While Peyton says he was too caught up in the moment to feel scared, his mother, Rebecca Van Stone, describes the ordeal as “surreal” and “very scary” to watch unfold. She recalls that the fire initially looked small, like smoke from a fire pit, before rapidly growing to the point where she worried it would spread to nearby trees and other houses.
“I just had thoughts of California, of these whole neighborhoods going up in smoke, and you could hear the crackling of fire,” Van Stone said.
Van Stone added that she’s proud of her son and Haines for acting quickly to help their neighbors. She was also impressed by the fire department’s response.
“They were very quick and efficient, I have to say, to save this woman’s house,” she said. “If it wasn’t for how quick they responded, the whole house would’ve been up in flames.”
According to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt, investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature, sparked by spontaneous combustion from recently added mulch.
After starting in a mulch bed, the fire spread to the detached garage and the main house but was largely confined to the exterior of the building. It caused $25,000 in damages, but people and animals all got through the incident unscathed.
“We all made sure the owners weren’t home. To know they were safe was the biggest thing,” Haines said. “Then, we knew we could focus on Daisy.”
Photos by Rebecca Van Stone
Improperly discarded smoking materials produced a fire in a one-story, single-family home in the Vienna/Dunn Loring area last night, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported this morning.
Units from the county and City of Fairfax were dispatched to the 2600 block of Bowling Green Drive just off of Cedar Lane at approximately 9:28 p.m. for a reported house fire.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found that a fire on the house’s rear deck was starting to spread toward the building itself. The fire was extinguished, and no injuries were reported to either the firefighters or the two people who were at home when the fire started.
“One of the occupants observed fire on the deck while looking out a window,” the FCFRD said. “Both occupants evacuated and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms activated, but after the fire was discovered.”
Both residents have been displaced as a result of the fire, which caused around $116,400 in damages. Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature.
Citing this fire as an example of what could happen, the FCFRD cautions that improperly discarded cigarettes and other smoking materials, like ashes, can be especially hazardous on days like today. Fairfax County is currently under a Red Flag Warning for weather conditions that could contribute to fires.
The fire department says smoking materials should not be left in mulch, shrubbery, or potted plant soil, which can be highly flammable in dry weather. Ashtrays and sand are the best options for safe disposal.
Two People Shot in Springfield — “Officers are investigating a shooting in the 6100 block of Hibbling Ave. in Springfield. Two people taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Updates to follow.” [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
Capital One Renovating Health Clinic at McLean HQ — “The McLean banking giant is renovating an 11,000-square-foot suite in its building at 1680 Capital One Drive to accommodate its growing headcount and add more health-care services for them, according to Erin Mical, senior director of workplace solutions at Capital One.” [Washington Business Journal]
Fairfax County Government and Employees Prepare for Collective Bargaining — “On Feb. 25, Fairfax County Supervisor and Vice Chairman Penny Gross (D-Mason District), Chair of the Fairfax County Collective Bargaining Workgroup, opened the second meeting between Fairfax County leaders and union representatives. The meeting was meant to solicit input toward the writing of collaborative labor-management policies.” [Connection Newspapers]
Fairfax County Fire Department Reorganizes — “Effective Saturday, February 27, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) has implemented an operational reorganization that adds an 8th battalion, while also dividing the county into two divisions. This resulted in a battalion chief and a second deputy chief of operations (DC) being added to each shift.” [FCFRD]
Northam Endorses Attorney General Challenger — Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday (Thursday) that he has endorsed Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), who is vying to unseat incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring. If elected, Jones would become Virginia’s first Black attorney general. [Associated Press/WTOP]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Smoke Detected in Building at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units reported to the 3300 block of Gallows Road in Falls Church yesterday. Smoke in a building was determined to be from “an arching light fixture in a data center. Most units returned to service shortly after the situation was controlled. [FCFRD/Twitter]
Virginia Surpasses COVID-19 Vaccine Goal — “In early January we set a goal of administering at least 50,000 doses of #COVID19 vaccine per day. Today, our daily average is over 51,300 shots and nearly 16% of Virginians have received at least one dose. While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this is great progress.” [Gov. Ralph Northam/Twitter]
Falls Church City School Board Member to Resign — Shawna Russell announced last week that she will resign from her seat at the end of the month. She is the second member to step down in the past two months after Lawrence Webb, whose temporary replacement Sonia Ruiz-Bolanos joined the board for the first time on Feb. 23. [Falls Church News-Press]
McLean Private School Students Earn Place in Science Olympiad State Championships — “The BASIS Independent McLean Middle School Science Olympiad team is headed to this year’s virtual state championships! The team has placed well in many competitions throughout the season, and the team’s overall second place the February’s Regional Tournament secured their advancement to states.” [BASIS Independent McLean]
McLean High School Students Curate Women’s History Month Art Show — “Members of the McLean Student Art Projectare sponsoring the show that portrays gender equality, celebrates women, and bring awareness to gender stereotypes and the objectification of women that still exists today. The virtual art show is available online.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Photo via Elvert Barnes/Flickr
Unofficial Snowfall Totals from Sunday — In Fairfax County, snow accumulation from yesterday’s winter storm ranged from 0.8 inches in Langley to 2.9 inches in Herndon. 2.3 inches were recorded around Wolf Trap, and one inch at Dunn Loring and Falls Church, according to unofficial observations. [National Weather Service]
Fall into Ravine Injures Person in McLean — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to the 9000 block of Old Dominion Drive around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 6) when a person fell 12 feet into a ravine. The individual was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. [FCFRD/Twitter]
Falls Church CVS to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine — “The News-Press has confirmed that the CVS Pharmacy at 134 W. Broad Street in downtown Falls Church will function as a distribution site for the Covid-19 vaccine effort.” CVS announced last week that vaccinations will roll out to stores in 11 states, including Virginia, starting this Thursday (Feb. 11). [Falls Church News-Press, CVS Health]
Fairfax County Imagines Tysons “Green Artery” — County officials have envisioned building a pedestrian/bicycle path and adding greenery, public art, and other amenities under the Metro Silver Line tracks through Tysons to make those spaces look more attractive. [Greater Greater Washington]
Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher Arrested for Sexual Assaults — A teacher who has worked for FCPS for 29 years was arrested on Wednesday (Jan. 20) for allegedly sexually assaulting a student in 1994 and 1995. He taught at Barden Elementary School in Fort Belvoir at the time of the assaults. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Vienna Firefighters Assist with Inauguration Emergency Response — “Yesterday, our volunteers were honored to help DC Fire and EMS support the Presidential Inauguration. 9 other volunteer ambulances from Fairfax County also provided assistance.” [Vienna Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter]
Dranesville Elementary Student Raises Money to Feed National Guard — Third-grader Mache raised $1,700 to help chef Spike Mendelsohn’s restaurant We, the Pizza feed National Guard troops who provided security in D.C. on Inauguration Day. The restaurant matched Mache’s donation and invited her to help distribute the pizzas. [FCPS]
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Says More COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Needed — In a letter to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Jeff McKay said that the state would need to increase the number of vaccine doses provided to Fairfax County if it plans to expand eligibility requirements again. The county has been averaging 10,000 doses a week, but the waitlist for appointments has grown to 115,000 people. [@JeffreyCMcKay/Twitter]
Deadline for Fairfax County Police Chief Survey Extended — A community survey seeking public input on the search for Fairfax County’s next police chief will now be open through Saturday, Jan. 30. [Fairfax County Government]
Falls Church Petco to Close — “The Petco located at 7395 Lee Highway in Falls Church is closing Saturday, Jan. 23, after almost 10 years at that location. Pet food, toys, and supplies in the store are available at up to 70 percent off retail prices.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Photo via Vienna Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter