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Five people were displaced yesterday (Tuesday) after a cooking-related fire partially destroyed their home in West Falls Church.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a reported house fire in the 3200 block of Nealon Drive around 9:20 a.m. The Arlington County and City of Fairfax fire departments also got involved in the response.

In a blog post released this morning (Wednesday), the FCFRD says it determined that the fire was started by cooking oil in an unattended pan on the house’s stovetop:

Units arrived on the scene of a one-story, single-family home with fire showing from the roof. Crews quickly located the fire and extinguished it. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

Two occupants were home at the time of the fire. Both occupants were alerted to the fire by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from the attic. Both occupants self-evacuated and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present but were not working due to a lack of batteries.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was the ignition of cooking oil from an unattended pan left on the stovetop.

The fire resulted in approximately $162,500 in property damages, according to FCFRD.

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Local and federal authorities are offering more reward money for information about an early morning killing from Oct. 20 at a Wells Fargo walk-up ATM on Annandale Road in West Falls Church.

Police reported last Saturday (Oct. 23) that the 73-year-old victim, Nelson Alexander Sr., of Falls Church, died after the robbery attempt and shooting.

The Fairfax County Police Department has been joined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in its investigation of the case. The ATF is now offering a $10,000 reward.

“We owe it to his family and to our community to relentlessly pursue justice,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a news conference today (Friday).

Police released additional security footage, stating that they have received many tips but are asking people to look again. Video from Metro showed individuals on a bus, but authorities are looking for other footage where the group may have been.

Authorities are hoping to identify three individuals that they believe include the person who killed Nelson, Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureau Maj. Ed O’Carroll said.

Special Agent in Charge Charlie Patterson pledged full support of ATF in finding the person responsible, calling the killing a “horrific act.”

Tips can be sent to the ATF at [email protected], by phone at 888-ATF-TIPS (888-283-8477), or online.

A passing cyclist noticed the victim in the parking lot around 6:14 a.m., and officers later responded to the 2900 block of Annandale Road.

Police previously shared how the attack occurred:

Preliminarily, detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau determined the victim entered the parking lot in his Jeep around 5:20 a.m. to use the walk-up ATM. As he was standing in front of the ATM, he was approached by a man wearing a mask who displayed a small revolver. The man was seen on surveillance footage threatening the victim and made demands before shooting him. The suspect left the area in an unknown direction.  

Alexander received surgery following the attack but was still in life-threatening condition in the hospital before dying from his injuries, police said Saturday (Oct. 23).

A vehicle was stolen in Alexandria, abandoned, and recovered by police about a half mile from the scene, O’Carroll said, adding that there may be more than just three people who were directly or indirectly involved.

FCPD has continued to ask for help in solving the crime. The department said if you have information or if you believe you have surveillance footage that. Police also asked people to look at home surveillance video not only from Oct. 20 but from previous days, too.

People may reach the Major Crimes Bureau by calling 703-246-7800 and pressing option two. FCPD also noted that tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text (type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411) and online. Info can also be sent through the mobile app Fairfax Co Crime Solvers.

Tips to the county can get cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if information leads to an arrest.

Police have classified the shooting as a murder investigation, the 19th so far this year in Fairfax County.

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