Reston, VA

A contractor who was injured while working on the roof of a home in Reston was rescued Monday evening.

According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the man — who was repairing a roof at 1514 Park Glen Court — injured himself with a nail gun.

Fire and rescue crews lifted the man from the roof of the townhouse and transported him to a local hospital.

The incident happened around 6:22 p.m. A spokesperson for the fire department told Reston Now that the man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Photos by Joel Shprentz

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Roer’s Zoofari (Photo via Roer’s/Facebook)

Roer’s Zoofari has reopened after a fire broke out that killed two beloved giraffes earlier this month.

The zoo at 1228 Hunter Mill Road started welcoming visitors again for walk and drive-through visits on Monday (March 15), according to their Facebook, a week after a fatal barn fire left giraffes Waffles and Belagin dead.

The zoo has posted a remembrance on the website for the two animals.

“Waffles has been the heart of Roer’s Zoofari for 5 years. As we grieve we can look back at his legacy he leaves behind,” it reads in part. “Rest in peace Waffles, you will never be forgotten.”

For Belgian, it notes that he was recently brought to the zoo as a companion for Waffles.

“Tragically his time here was cut short. But in his few weeks at Roer’s Zoofari, he uplifted the spirits of visitors and staff,” the remembrance says. “He helped make Waffles’ last days an absolute joy as they played in the sun.”

Areas, including the barn, remain blocked off as an investigation is still ongoing, zoo owner Vanessa Roer writes Reston Now in an email.

At 5:30 p.m. on March 8, zoo staff was contacted by Fairfax County fire dispatch, according to a statement on the zoo’s website.

Staff arrived and were able to rescue about 20 other animals. They could not reach the giraffes, who were trapped in their stalls in the barn.

The giraffes likely died of smoke inhalation, the statement says.

While no cause has yet to be officially determined, staff believe the fire resulted from a heater that was being used to keep animals warm overnight in the barn during cold temperatures.

About a third of the barn was destroyed.

Additionally, in recent days, a petition has been circulating to shut down the zoo. Currently, there’s about 550 signatures.

It cites the alleged mistreatment of animals and violation of the Animal Welfare Act as reasons. No evidence of such claims is offered.

There have been several notable incidents and controversies over the last decade at the zoo, many of which occurred prior to the current ownership taking over in 2016.

For decades, the zoo near Lake Fairfax was known as “Reston Zoo” but it was sold to Vanessa and Jacob Roer after several high-profile animal cruelty charges. This includes the zoo’s previous director pleaded guilty of drowning an injured wallaby.

Other incidents include improper care provided to a spider monkey and exposing warm-weathered porcupines to cold temperatures.

At the time, Reston Zoo ownership chalked it up to mistakes, keeper error, and bad process.

Reston Now did send the petition to current zoo staff for comment but has yet to hear back as of publication.

Photo via Roer’s/Facebook

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Staff at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston say they’re devastated after a barn fire killed the family-run zoo’s only two giraffes on Monday.

Although the blaze was brought under control, Waffles, a seven-year-old giraffe, and his companion, a giraffe that zoo owner Vanessa Roer acquired two weeks ago, were killed in the fire.

Staff at the zoo recently created a memorial outside the entrance of the zoo. People have been leaving flowers and balloons in memory of Waffles, a zoo-goer-favorite. 

According to Roer, 20 other animals were rescued after the blaze destroyed nearly one-third of the barn.

‘Waffles was a favorite with our visitors and our team,’ Roer said. ‘We are heartbroken.’

A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department told Reston Now that an investigation on the cause of the fire and the extent of damages is underway.

Preliminarily, staff believe that the fire may have been caused by a heater used to keep animals warm in the barn overnight.

The zoo is closed until Friday.

Three macaws were taken to Leesburg Wild Animal Park Monday night after the zoo’s veterinarian ruled out any signs of smoke inhalation. All other animals were relocated inside the zoo.

The current owners took over the zoo, which was formerly known as Reston Zoo, in 2016. The former zoo’s director pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Photo via Vanessa Roer

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Friday Morning Notes

Flag Changes Not Recommended by County Planning Commission — The county’s planning commission recommended against changing regulations for flags and flagpoles. County staff had proposed specific regulations that would impose a new height limit on flagpoles, among other new regulations. [Reston Patch]

Reorganization Underway in County Fire Departments — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has reorganized its operations bureau in order to improve daily operations. The move adds an eighth battalion and divides the county into two divisions. [FCFRD]

Spring Break Camp Registration Now Open — Reston Association is resuming its spring break camp from March 29 through April 2 this year. Sign ups are available online. [RA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Alcorn Seeks Intern — The Hunter Mill District Office is seeking a part-time summer intern to help with public service activities. The deadline to apply is March 1. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston House Fire Extinguished — A small fire broke out on the outside of a roof on the 11500 block of Greenwich Point in Reston yesterday evening. The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Late Night Thieves Target Minority Business OwnersDetectives in Fairfax County are investigating a series of overnight commercial burglaries at minority-owned businesses located in Alexandria, Annandale, Falls Church and Springfield in Virginia. [WTOP]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Friday Morning Notes

New Vaccine Distribution Process In EffectWhile local health districts are allowed flexibility in how doses are administered, roughly half of the available supply each week will be used for people 65 and older. The other half will be allocated for people eligible in the other categories. [Fairfax County Government]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Partners with George Mason University — The department’s data analytics strategy management division partnered with the university to give students a chance to work with real world data from the community. Students studied the relationship between medications administered and procedures performed to distance from the receiving hospital. [FCFRD]

Warren Thompson Talks Growth for His Reston-based Hospitality Company“If you ask Warren Thompson to predict what the restaurant industry looks like on the other side of the Covid-19 crisis, he’s straightforward — ‘I believe 30% to 35% of restaurants will not make it. They will either close or change hands.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Reston Tech Company Names Chief Growth OfficerReston-based tech company TekSynap announced last week it has hired Pete Brady as chief growth officer. With more than 35 years of experience in military operations, growth, business development and technology, he was most recently the chief growth officer with BlueWater Federal, which was acquired by Tetra Tech. [Virginia Business Monthly]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is coming up with more ways to help local residents receive CPR in the event of an emergency.

Earlier this month, the department announced the official launch of the PulsePoint, a phone app that connects to 911 and alerts CPR-trained residents if someone in a nearby, public location is experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).

The rate of survival from SCA decreases by between seven and 10 percent for every minute that passes before help arrives, according to the department. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or on Google Play. Potential resident rescues are also alerted to the exact location of a defibrillator.

Fire Chief John Butler is encouraging residents to download the app.

“In working with PulsePoint, our goal is to get every resident with access to early intervention in order to save as many lives as possible,” Butler said.

Butler pushed for the institution of the app in Howard County, Md., where he was previously the fire chief.

Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) created new guidelines that urged fire departments to have the capability to alert willing bystanders for the need of CPR.

The AHA recommendation was considered and played a significant role in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Departments’ implementation of PulsePoint,  said Battalion Chief George Robbins, the county’s community risk reduction program manager.

He noted that CPR-related calls are fairly common in Fairfax County. In 2019 and 2020, the department responded to 645 and 663 patients where EMS crews attempted resuscitation respectively, Robbins told Reston Now.

An email is required to set up an account once the app is downloaded.

Photo via PulsePoint Foundation/Facebook

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Construction on the long-anticipated new Fire and Reston Station 25 on Wiehle Avenue in Reston is coming along and is planning to be set for occupancy towards the end of 2021, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s assistant public information officer Bill Delaney tells Reston Now.

Late last month (Dec. 2020), the department tweeted that the station would be ready by the summer.

Delaney says the delay is due to extremely wet weather over the last few months and “other challenges that are normal parts of the building process.”

The initial timeline floated in 2018 for completion in spring 2021, so the project appears to be behind that original projected date.

The nearly $15 million project will more than double the size of the previous station. The 17,150 square-foot, two-story facility will have four bays. It will also be able to accommodate up to 20 firefighters per shift and six apparatus equipment including a new engine, according to the architect’s description. The station is targeting LEED Silver certification.

County plans from early in 2018 said the design would have a “contemporary look to compliment the urban feel of Reston Town Center.”

Funding for the new station was included on the Public Safety Bond Referendum approved by voters in 2015. Four other fire stations were included in the referendum for renovation or rebuild. The Woodlawn station in Alexandria is set to open for occupancy in the spring and Edsall Road station in Springfield is scheduled for next year.

The new Reston station is being built on the same site as the old station. That one was built in 1972 and last upgraded in 1986. It was only 2.5 bays and deemed “grossly undersized” for the community.

For comparison, Reston’s population in 1972 was about 16,000, according to the Reston Museum. In 2019, it was more than 61,000. 

In January 2020, fire fighters moved to a temporary station nearby at 1840 Cameron Glen Drive until the new station is ready for occupancy.

A Fairfax County official told the Patch at the time that the move would have no impact on the station’s ability to serve the community.

Demolition started in March on the old fire station.

Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Apartment Fire on Castle Rock Square Under Control — A fire broke out in the bathroom of an apartment building on the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square late yesterday. No injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Hands-free Cell Phone Laws Go Into Effect — Beginning Jan. 1, it is against the law to hold a phone or mobile device while driving. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Local Reston Heroes Who Went Above and Beyond — Three Restonians were honored for being local heroes by Patch readers. They include a member of the Reston Community Center Board, a childcare worker, and the owners of ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art. [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Multiple lanes are closed on the Dulles Toll Road just after Reston Parkway after a 40-gallon fuel tank leaked earlier this morning.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department expects three or four lanes to remain shut down for roughly an hour, according to a statement released earlier today.

No injuries have been reported and the leak is under control.

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Friday Morning Notes

Be Wary of Icy Conditions The county is advising residents to be wary of icy patches and slippery spots on roads and sidewalks this morning until temperatures rise later today. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

New Process for Requesting Park Programs Now Available — ”The Park Authority has a new program request form that makes it easy to register for personalized programs for birthdays, scout gatherings, school enrichment and family fun in parks throughout Fairfax County.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Reston HR Services Contractor In the Spotlight — ”Golden Key Group LLC (GKG) scored a major feather in its cap Wednesday with a contract to provide the Department of Commerce’s human resources information technology services — but that’s just the start for the company, executives said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Doug Errett

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Several boxes were on fire in the hallway of an apartment building in Herndon on Tuesday morning.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived to the building, which is located in the 12900 block of Mansarde Avenue, at around 9 a.m.

The burning boxes, which had activated the building’s sprinkles, were removed from the building before the fire department arrived.

Crews worked to remove some from the first floor of the building. No injuries were reported.

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A townhouse fire on the 13300 block of Apgar Place that started this morning is now under control, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

When units got to the scene, smoke was showing from the townhouse unit. The fire was located in the wall and quickly extinguished around 7:46 a.m., the department wrote.

No injuries were reported.

Photo via FCFRD

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Looking to donate toys this holiday season? The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations are collecting donations for the regional Quantico Toys for Tots campaign.  

The Quantico toy collection will run through Dec. 13. However, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station collections are only running through Dec. 12. Individuals can leave small donations in collection boxes outside the front door of each station every day until 8 p.m. 

These hubs will accept donations, however, they will not be distributing supplies, according to the campaign website.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations collected around 12,000 toys last year. The entire Quantico campaign collected more than 108,000 toys that were distributed to more than 106,000 children.

Quantico’s Toys for Tots program is run by the U.S. Marine Corps with a mission to collect new toys for distribution to underprivileged children for Christmas. The non-profit aims to inspire these children to become responsible, productive and patriotic citizens through these gifts.

Those who are interested in donating but do not live near a Fire and Rescue Station can visit the Quantico website for a list of more donation centers.

Photo by Ryan Fields/Unsplash

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Monday Morning Notes

Dense Fog Advisory In Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory for the area until 10 am. today. If driving, slow down, use your headlights, and leave plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. [NWS]

Delivery Times for FCPS Meal Sites, Bus Stops Change — “Beginning Monday, 11/9, delivery times and some bus stops for grab and go meals distributed on bus routes will change. These changes are due to the need for more buses to transport students returning to school for in-person learning.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Update from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department on COVID-19 — As of this Sunday, four people in the department have tested positive. So far, 64 personnel have fully recovered.  [FCFRD]

Photo by Ray Copson

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