Tysons Corner, VA

Monday Morning Notes

HQ2 Worries for Fairfax Companies — “Amazon.com Inc.’s move to open a second headquarters in Arlington may prove to be a mixed-bag for Fairfax County. While many HQ2 employees are expected to live in the county, there’s a real chance that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will take tech talent from companies based in Fairfax.” [Washington Business Journal]

Does Tysons Need New North-South Transit? — “The Silver Line is good for east-west, but Tysons needs something north-south too. [Twitter]

Silver Line Station Progress — “Work crews in yellow vests and hard hats continue to dot the stations, track, pavilions, pedestrian bridges and tracks along the Phase 2 alignment, but over the next few months, more and more of those workers will be heading to interior work stations to run utility lines, install equipment and test all of the facilities.” [VivaTysons]

Apartment Fire in Falls Church — A fire broke out in the kitchen of an apartment at 450 N. Washington Street in Falls Church on Friday afternoon. [Twitter]

Falls Church PD Seek Info in Dog Bite Case — “City of Falls Church Police and Animal Control are looking for a dog that bit a man on the leg on Wednesday, March 27, around 2:15 p.m. near the Cherry Hill Park tennis courts.” [City of Falls Church]

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Lucy Berkebile, 73, has become Fairfax County’s first fire fatality of 2019.

On Saturday (March 9) around noon, Fairfax and Arlington county firefighters battled a house fire on the 1400 block of Brookhaven Drive. Despite rescue efforts, Berkebile was found dead in the house.

More via a press release from Fairfax Fire and Rescue:

Units arrived on the scene and observed a large volume of fire coming from a two-story, single family home. Neighbors indicated that an elderly female was likely home. Crews worked aggressively to enter the home and initiate an attack on the fire in order to conduct a search for the occupant. The firefighters efforts were hindered by the large amount of fire and exterior obstacles, such as brush, trees, and debris.

Firefighters began an attack on the fire from outside. The fire was quickly extinguished. No firefighters were injured. One occupant was found deceased in the home.

The fire was discovered by a neighbor who called 9-1-1. It is unknown if there were working smoke alarms in the home.

The cause of this fire remains under investigation. Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $398,750.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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Five months after it was destroyed in a fire, the ruined husk of the Marco Polo restaurant building in Vienna has finally been completely demolished.

It’s unclear when demolition began, but by March 19 most of the rubble had been removed from the site.

The restaurant was originally built in 1954. In 2015, local developer Doug D’Alexander applied to have the lot redeveloped as Vienna Market, but the application failed. A more scaled-down version was presented in 2017 and was approved.

The development plans were complicated an alleged intentionally-set fire that gutted the building. Two teenagers were later arrested and charged with setting the fire as part of a vandalism spree.

The charred remains were left as a visible blight along Maple Avenue, though Vienna staff said plans for development are still in the works.

In January, Cindy Petkac, director of planning and zoning for the Town of Vienna, said the building was expected to be demolished within the month.

Vienna residents remembered the building, a longtime local prom-date spot, fondly.

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Fairfax County fire investigators are trying to identify a woman seen lighting a trash can on fire in Tysons early Monday morning.

Authorities say the woman tried several times to start a fire in the garbage can before finally succeeding at starting a small trash fire. It happened around 3:40 a.m. outside of an office building at 8065 Leesburg Pike, near the Chef Geoff’s restaurant in Tysons.

More from the Fairfax County Fire Department:

Fire investigators are asking for the public’s help identifying a person of interest in a recent fire.

On March 11, at approximately 3:40 a.m., a woman ignited the contents of a trash can in front of 8065 Leesburg Pike in the Tysons area of Fairfax County. It took her several attempts to start the fire.

The person of interest is a female who was last seen wearing black pants, grey hooded pullover, black sneakers, carrying a large black shoulder bag, shoulder length hair and dark framed glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator John Sherwood at (703) 246-4801 or [email protected].

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(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Firefighters are on the scene of an extinguished penthouse fire that has some smoke wafting into Tysons Corner Center.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweeted at 11:11 a.m. today (March 14) that the fire broke out on the roof area of a penthouse at 7950 Tysons Corner Center.

“Some minor smoke in mall that was picked up by air handler,” according to the tweet.

Image via Google Maps 

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Authorities are investigating a fatal fire in McLean.

The fire broke out Saturday at a home on the 1400 block of Brookhaven Drive. Firefighters from Fairfax County and Arlington County extinguished the blaze, but FCPD reported one fatality.

NBC 4 reported Saturday night that the deceased was an elderly woman and that an oxygen tank might have exploded during the fire.

Map via Google Maps

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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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A vehicle was fully engulfed by flames on the Beltway near Tysons Monday morning.

The fire was reported around 10:45 a.m., on the Outer Loop near I-66 and Tysons, according to WTOP Traffic.

Traffic camera images show two left-hand lanes of the Beltway blocked by first responders, as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames. Thick black smoke could be seen billowing into the air prior to the fire being extinguished.

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Months after a fire destroyed the Marco Polo restaurant in Vienna, town officials hope they could soon tear the building down.

A fire at the restaurant in October left the building completely destroyed. Two teens were ultimately charged with arson.

Today, the restaurant remains a burned husk and the Vienna Town Council has initiated “blight proceedings” to try and have the building destroyed, an effort that seems to be bearing fruit.

“We are making progress,” said Town Manager Mercury Payton at a Town Council meeting on Monday (Jan. 28). “We are rather close to having what we need for the demolition permit. We don’t have the demolition permit authorized at this point.”

According to Cindy Petkac, director of planning and zoning for the Town of Vienna, discussion on the demolition of the burned building has been proceeding quickly over the last few weeks.

Petkac said staff met with the building’s owner and staff is currently reviewing a demolition permit with revised erosion and sediment control. Water and sewer access to the building has been capped.

“It was well over a month ago that we started blight proceedings,” said Vienna Town Council Member Howard Springsteen. “I’m getting a lot of complaints that this is an eyesore.”

Petkac said demolition at the building is expected within a month.

“The sooner that building gets cleared, the safer it will be,” said Mayor Laurie DiRocco.

Another fire occurred last week, when a large tree fell onto power lines behind the 123-year-old Bouton Hall at the corner of Church and Mill Streets. The building is owned by the Masonic organization, Concord Lodge 307, and contains the Pennywise Thrift Shop.

According to town staff, the damage from the fire is still being assessed. Payton said how the damage will affect planned renovations to the building is too premature to say.

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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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