Thanksgiving Morning House Fire Displaces Herndon Residents

A fire broke out in a Herndon house early Thanksgiving morning, leaving four residents temporarily without a home for the holiday.

The fire broke out in an attic above the garage, shortly after 3:30 a.m. this past Thursday, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. Investigators determined that it was sparked by a malfunctioning box fan.

Firefighters worked to “aggressively” extinguish the flames, but because of the damage the four residents — along with two guests — were not able to stay in the house.

More from a fire department press release:

On Thursday, November 22, at approximately 3:38 a.m., units responded to a reported house fire in the 600 block of Stuart Court in the Town of Herndon.

Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single-family home with no visible sign of smoke or fire. Crews quickly located a fire in the attic space above the garage. Firefighters worked aggressively to extinguish the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

A total of four occupants and two visitors were present at the time of the fire. One of the occupants awoke to flickering lights and an odor of smoke. The occupant alerted the others and called 9-1-1. The six occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Working smoke alarms were installed but did not activate due to location of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the attic space over the garage. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning box fan located in the attic.

Four residents of the home were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $75,000.

Map via Google Maps

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Police: Reston Man Arrested After Firing His Handgun Into the Air

A Reston man was arrested and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting in a public place on Friday, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police responded to a report of gunshots in the 2200 block of Cocquina Drive at 5:49 p.m. on Nov. 23. A witness then directed the officers to the house where the shots had been fired.

Officers instructed everyone inside the house to come out, which they did “without incident,” according to the report.

Police say they then arrested and charged Manuel De Jesus Cruz, 45, of Reston, after determining he had fired his handgun several times into the air from his porch.

Photo via FCPD

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App Fighting Food Waste Looks to Expand Reach Around Reston

An organization combatting food insecurity with an app is looking to serve more people in and around Reston

Food Rescue US uses an app to target local sites around the country, including Victorville, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn.

Here’s how the app works — restaurants, grocers and food providers can list surplus food for donation. Then, volunteers follow directions in the app for picking up and dropping off the food to receiving agencies like food pantries and community kitchens, which indicate in the app what they need.

Kate Urbank, the D.C. site director for Food Rescue, told Reston Now that the D.C.-area community started in October 2016. Since then, the efforts have helped redistribute nearly one million pounds of food. “We get hundreds of pounds a day,” Urbank said, adding that donors include Capital One and Boeing.

Last year, Food Rescue started bringing food to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which has food prepared by FLIK Hospitality.

The Reston nonprofit Cornerstones (11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210), which provides support for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing and other services, helps to operate the shelter at 11975 Bowman Towne Drive.

Volunteers pick up food five days a week from Freddie Mac and then drop off at the shelter twice a week. As the site director, Urbank operates the app, determining the type of food, amount and proximity for volunteers to take to receiving locations.

The app has had the “hottest growth” in Northern Virginia, which currently has 50 active volunteers with five from Reston and two from Herndon, Urbank said.

“I’m very open to branching off the Northern Virginia piece,” Urbank said. “It’s so ripe.”

Urbank said that she met with Food for Others, an organization in Fairfax that helps distribute food., as she looks to expand the efforts in Northern Virginia. Last week, she hired a woman in Tysons who will help with community outreach in the area.

Ultimately, Food Rescue US aims to reach all 50 states, Urbank said.

Photo via iTunes store

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Planned Reston Tower Still Seeking Tenants

Update 10:30 a.m. — David Toney, Vice President of Development for Akridge, has clarified that the One Reston Town Center project does not have a five-year deadline to begin construction.

(Editor’s note: This story was updated Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 12:15 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. to correct references to One Reston’s height.)

One Reston Town Center, a 23-story building in Reston’s urban core, made waves when it was first approved six years ago. But since then, the project has been largely silent.

The project is planned to offer 420,000 square-feet of office space, as well as 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail. Akridge property management said at the time that it would not begin construction until a lead tenant was found to occupy at least 150,000 square feet of that total office space.

A leasing agent at Avison Young, a real estate partnership business, said the building is still in the pre-leasing phase. While the agent said Avison Young is actively pursuing several deals currently, no lead tenant has been found to occupy the building.

“We have some proposals in to some groups,” said David Toney, Vice President of Development for Akridge. “These things take time. We have some good activity on the project. We’re focusing on that and focusing on financing to go forward.”

Prior to the 2016 reapproval, Akridge had noted that waiting for a lease before beginning construction was less risky than beginning construction while searching for a tenant.

Photo via Akridge

This story has been updated

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Reston Tech Consulting Firm Collects 500 Items for Food Drive

(Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday at 2 p.m. to clarify where the collected food items went.)

Giving Tuesday is right around the corner, and one Reston-based company got a head start.

The Goal, a technology-based consulting firm, collected more than 500 food items in its annual food drive, the company posted today (Nov. 26) on social media.

The food will go to the Reston Community Center’s Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization. The items gathered by the employees, known as “Goalies,” include cans of yams, potatoes and Campbell soup.

Founded in 2002, The Goal is headquartered in Reston at 11921 Freedom Drive, Suite 920. The company’s services include software development, cybersecurity and data solutions.

The donation is meant to help people living in poverty, the company tweeted said.

Photo via The Goal/Instagram

This story has been updated.

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Toys for Tots Collection Starts on Thursday in Reston Town Center

A Toys for Tots drive is coming to town to bring presents to low-income kids.

Locals can drop off new, unwrapped toys in building lobbies around Reston Town Center this Thursday.

The charity toy drive benefits Toys for Tots and is held in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual campaign. The drive runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 7.

On the final day, a special collection event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the pavilion.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department began its toy drive last Monday (Nov. 19). The collection is part of the Annual National Capital Region Fire and EMS Departments’ 2018 Toys for Tots campaign.

Fire stations will accept checks made payable to “TOYS FOR TOTS” and new, unwrapped toy donations until Dec. 12.

The nearby stations are located at:

  • 1820 Wiehle Avenue, Reston
  • 2610 Reston Parkway, Herndon
  • 1117 Reston Avenue, Herndon

Last year, the department collected more than 14,000 toys, according to the website.

Photo via Marine Toys for Tots Foundation/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Start planning for summer — Registration for YMCA summer camp started over the weekend. [YMCA]

What’s the update on the Silver Line? — With openings pushed back, construction on the Silver Line extension could wrap up as soon as fall of next year. [WTOP]

Turkeys found a home at Reston farm — Thanksgiving may be over, but here is some fun trivia — some turkeys pardoned by presidents wound up on a farm in Reston. [The Washington Post]

Be careful with those space heaters — As the weather gets colder, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants to make sure residents stay safe and warm. This video from the Federal Emergency Management Agency teaches portable heater safety. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department] 

Photo via Ray Copson

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