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by Dave Emke — June 22, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Folk Music Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by contemporary folk artists Sweater Set. [Lake Anne Plaza]

Car Hits Pole in Reston — A Wednesday evening crash on Lawyers Road at Soapstone Drive took out power and closed the road. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Fireworks Safety Urged — Fireworks can turn a holiday into a tragedy within seconds when illegal and dangerous fireworks are being used. Fire officials have released a video to promote fireworks safety this July Fourth. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/YouTube]

Shared-Use Path Planned — A meeting June 29 will discuss a proposed path from the future Innovation Station Metro station kiss-and-ride on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]

Photo via @butler_law on Twitter

by Dave Emke — June 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Heat Wave Continues — It was hot over the weekend and high temperatures are expected to get into the 90s again for the next couple days. Fairfax County wants residents to be aware of the dangers of extreme heat. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Volunteers Still Needed for ‘Taste’ — Organizers of the Taste of Reston, scheduled for this weekend at Reston Town Center, say they are still in need of some volunteers for Friday and Saturday night shifts. [Taste of Reston]

Utility Work Starts Tomorrow Night — Crews will be doing utility relocation work at the main entrance to the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, located at the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Roark Street. The work is expected to be take about three weeks. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Park Authority Unveils Web Feature — Fairfax County parks including nearby Frying Pan Farm Park and Riverbend Park are part of a new interactive webpage that includes photos, videos and more. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

by Dave Emke — June 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm 3 Comments

(Note: This is an update to a story that appeared Monday on Reston Now.)

Hoarding at a home in South Reston exacerbated a fire over the weekend, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says.

The fire at 2288 Dosinia Court started just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Fire officials say the blaze was the “result of the ignition of cooking oil spilled on the propane burner in use inside of the garage,” and it “quickly spread to nearby cardboard boxes.”

A fire department press release says “hoarding conditions found on all levels of the home” hindered efforts to put out the fire. A neighbor told Reston Now on Monday that she believed rooms in the home were being rented out and there were sometimes as many as a dozen cars in the cul-de-sac. A Google Street View image of the address, taken in September 2014, shows six cars outside the home.

According to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue press release:

“The fire was discovered by one of the occupants who was cooking on a propane fueled burner in the garage. She alerted the remaining sleeping occupants, exited the structure, and called 911. All other occupants safely evacuated the home prior to fire department arrival. The home was equipped with one battery operated smoke alarm on each level. All of the smoke alarms, except the one in the basement, were found to be disabled (battery removed).”

One occupant was transported to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and no firefighters were injured. Red Cross assistance was offered to the residents, but it was declined.

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be approximately $120,000.

by Dave Emke — June 7, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

(This article was updated at 1:45 p.m. after additional information was provided by Fairfax County Fire & Rescue.) 

A firefighter battling a townhouse blaze at Lake Anne early Wednesday morning is OK after falling through a collapsed floor.

Crews responded to the scene in the 1600 block of Greenbriar Court at approximately 5:07 a.m., where a three-story unit had fire showing from the rear. After an aggressive 20 minutes, the fire was brought under control, and no extension was found.

Via Twitter, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue reported one firefighter suffered a non-life-threatening injury. The firefighter, who was examined at the hospital for minor injuries and has since been released, fell through a floor while working the incident. One adult male and one adult female were displaced as a result of the fire.

Fairfax Fire and Rescue reported the cause of the fire to be accidental, from a junction box supplying electrical power to a recessed light above the basement ceiling.

Damages from the fire are estimated to cost about $125,000.

Photos courtesy Suzanne Zurn and Fairfax County Fire & Rescue 

by Dave Emke — June 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 9 Comments

Expanded Free Parking Starts at RTC — As of today, garage parking at Reston Town Center is free for the first hour before 5 p.m., after which time it becomes free until 3:30 a.m. [Reston Now]

Mullins Memorial Details Released — A memorial service for former Fairfax County GOP chair and Republican Party of Virginia chair Pat Mullins, who died May 28, will be held June 21 at McLean Bible Church (8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna). [Bearing Drift]

Fire Station 39 Rescues Stuck Pup — A crew from the North Point Station (1117 Reston Ave.) responded to a residence in Great Falls recently, where they tracked down and rescued a 60-pound pet dog that had become trapped under the home. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Human Trafficking Awareness Walk Held — The Just Ask Prevention Project, which was created by detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department, hosted its first awareness event Saturday at the county government center. The nonprofit’s goal is to bring together county agencies, schools and community leaders to educate and raise awareness about human trafficking in Northern Virginia. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke — June 2, 2017 at 9:00 am 42 Comments

New Schools Superintendent Tabbed — Dr. Scott Brabrand, the superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools, has been chosen as the finalist to become the new superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. Brabrand previously worked at FCPS in numerous positions, including assistant superintendent. The school board will give its final decision on the hiring June 8. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Neurologist Charged with Distributing Pills — Ishtiaq Ahmad was arrested in Manassas earlier this week following a six-month investigation by the Prince William-Manassas-Manassas Park Narcotics Task Force. Ahmad, who also practices in Reston, is charged with distributing pain pills without performing medical exams. [Inside NoVa]

Details on Pedestrian Lighting Group Plan — In its most recent “Reston Today” video dispatch, Reston Association spotlights the work being done by the volunteer group to develop a plan to increase safety for walkers and bikers. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Restaurant Thanked by Fire Company — Vapiano (1875 Explorer St.) provided food for firefighters battling a blaze last summer. A-Shift from Station 25 recently presented the restaurant with a token of its appreciation. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Instagram]

Police Department Adds Another Former Journalist — Emilie Voss, a former television news anchor in Ohio, has joined the Fairfax County Police Department as the deputy director of the media bureau. Voss joins former WJLA reporter Julie Parker, who is the bureau’s director. [Fairfax County Police Department]

by Dave Emke — June 1, 2017 at 9:00 am 6 Comments

Majority Say They’ll Go to RTC — With our story Wednesday about changes to parking fees at Reston Town Center, we posted a poll asking whether those changes will make readers more likely to visit the Town Center. With nearly 900 votes on the unscientific poll, about two-thirds of responders said they would. [Reston Now]

Herndon Festival Starts Tonight — The 37th annual festival will run tonight through Sunday in downtown Herndon. Several streets, including Elden Street, will be closed throughout the event. Free parking and shuttle buses will be provided to get to the festivities. [Herndon Festival]

Community Center Board Meets Monday — The Reston Community Center Board of Governors will continue the decision-making process regarding the budget outline for FY19, and possible timelines for capital projects including the proposed  renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center, Monday at 8 p.m. at RCC (2310 Colts Neck Road). The annual public hearing for programs and budget is slated for Monday, June 19. [Reston Community Center]

Barton Hill Tennis Courts Closed — Reston Association says the courts are being resurfaced, and it is hoped they will be reopened by mid-June. [Reston Association/Twitter]

Halogen Lamp Starts Fire — A blaze earlier this week south of Reston caused about $125,000 in damages after a lamp in the basement ignited nearby combustibles. Two residents of the home have been displaced. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

by RestonNow.com — May 31, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

A Reston woman who sprung to action to save another’s life has been honored by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Jodi Rakoff was recently recognized with a Citizen Lifesaving Award for her actions. She was honored by County Fire Station 25 (Reston), C-Shift, EMS 401, and Battalion Chiefs 401 and 407.

According to information provided by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Rakoff jumped in and performed CPR when a woman who was walking in front of her house collapsed.

“Jodi’s quick actions, along with advanced life support care by the personnel from 25-C, resulted in the resuscitation of the patient.”

Rakoff was joined at the ceremony by her husband, Simon, and her mother.

Photos courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

by Dave Emke — May 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Tenants Unhappy at Cosmopolitan — Residents of the luxury apartment building in Reston Town Center (1855 St. Francis St.) say the property management company is slow to respond to complaints and address safety concerns. They are organizing in the attempt to get the building’s owners to treat them better. [Fairfax County Times]

SLHS Alumnus Named to Virginia High School Hall of Fame — Among the inductees this year is Alan Webb, a 2001 graduate of South Lakes. Webb, who competed in the men’s 1,500-meter competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics, set a new U.S. high school record for the 2,000-meter race while at South Lakes, and was the first high school student to run a sub-4 minute mile in indoor track. In his senior year, he was named High School Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Great Falls Fire Department Marks 75 Years — A product of civil defense in World War II, the volunteer fire department was founded May 5, 1942. There were 29 founding members, mostly farmers and shopkeepers. Great Falls historian Karen Washburn shares more details about its history in a 4-minute video. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

SoccerFest Coming to Lake Fairfax — The tournament, June 24-25, is open to children and adults of all skill levels. Early-bird registration pricing is available through May 26, and registration will close June 16. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

by RestonNow.com — May 10, 2017 at 11:15 am 2 Comments

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A 10-year-old Reston child was rushed by helicopter to Children’s Hospital Tuesday evening with burns over 30 percent of the body following an accident with boiling water, according to fire and police officials.

First-responders from Fairfax County Police and Fire and Rescue rushed to the scene of the incident around 6 p.m. Tuesday, which took place in the child’s home in the 11800 block of Abercorn Court.

Reports indicate the child received second- and third-degree burns to the face, neck, back and feet from boiling water. A fire department spokesperson said the child accidentally tipped over a pot of boiling water on the stove. Authorities described what happened as an accident and said no criminal charges would be filed.

A medevac helicopter landed nearby at Hunters Woods Elementary School to transport the child to Children’s Hospital for treatment.

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by RestonNow.com — April 28, 2017 at 10:15 am 3 Comments

Food left cooking on a stove ended up causing a fire that has four people out of a home in Herndon.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded before 2 a.m. Thursday to a reported townhouse fire in the 800 block of Sycamore Court. When they arrived, they found smoke showing from the front of the three-story, end-unit house. The fire was found in the first-floor kitchen and quickly extinguished, fire officials say.

The three adults and one child who were in the home at the time of the fire all were able to get out after smelling something burning. One was transported to a hospital for evaluation, and Red Cross assistance is being provided.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $25,000.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offers the following safety tips to help avoid kitchen fires and other calamities:

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Long, loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains or paper at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

by Dave Emke — April 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Full-Scale Terror Response Exercise Today — Fairfax County is one of six sites in the DC Metro area participating in a drill today “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the region.” The county’s exercise site is the former Lorton Reformatory prison site. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Amazon to Move Into Herndon Office Tower — One Dulles Tower (13200 Woodland Park Drive) will be leased out by Amazon Web Service, the Washington Business Journal first reported. That building is just across the Toll Road from Amazon’s facility on Worldgate Drive. [Bisnow]

BXP First-Quarter Earnings Down from 2016 — Boston Properties, owner of Reston Town Center, announced Tuesday that profits are down 8.9 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Revenue fell 5.1 percent. In addition to the DC region, BXP has properties in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. [Nasdaq]

Seahawks Soccer Team Ranked in Region — The South Lakes High School boys’ soccer team, 6-2-2 so far on the season, is ranked No. 8 in the Washington Post’s Metro region Top 10. The team next plays Thursday night at Hayfield. [Washington Post]

Golf Tournament Will Benefit Families of Heroes — The 47th annual HEROES Inc. golf tournament will be July 13-14 at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Clifton. The event benefits the HEROES scholarship fund, which provides financial aid and professional counsel to the surviving family members of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

by Dave Emke — April 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Giving Back to Emergency Responders — Firefighters from Station 25 presented a certificate to a Reston woman who adopted a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The woman was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in 1994 and credits emergency crews including fire units with saving her life, and she has loved and supported them ever since. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Guinea Pigs on Twitter Thanks to Local Students — At Ideaventions Academy, a specialized STEM school in Reston, students have built a computer and are using censors to get classroom pets to tweet out randomized messages. You can follow along @PepperNCaramel. [WUSA]

County Map Shows Youth Crash Locations — A map released Thursday by Fairfax County plots the locations of all 1,840 vehicle crashes involving youth drivers (ages 15-20) in 2016. In Reston, locations including Sunrise Valley Drive, the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road, and the intersection of Reston Parkway and Route 7 had the most incidents. [Fairfax County]

Another Capital BikeShare Station Opens — An 11-dock Capital BikeShare location has opened on Town Center Parkway near Sunset Hills Road, at the RTC West complex. [Capital BikeShare/Twitter]

Map courtesy Fairfax County

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 11:15 am 12 Comments

A treadmill is being pinpointed as the cause of a blaze in a single-family residence in South Reston that caused nearly a quarter-million dollars in damages.

Units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene of the blaze in the 2200 block of Marginella Drive, off Glade Drive, around 8:38 a.m. Wednesday.

From a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue press release:

“Units arrived on scene to find fire showing from the rear of a two-story, single family house. Firefighters went to work extinguishing a large volume of fire in the back of the home. They were able to bring the fire under control approximately ten minutes after arrival.”

One of the home’s occupants discovered the fire and called 911, fire officials report, after which smoke alarms in the home did activate. Both occupants of the home were able to get out safely.

Fire investigators say a treadmill in the home’s sunroom was the source of the blaze.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated at $237,466, fire officials say. At the scene Thursday morning, most of the home’s windows are boarded up, as are doors and the garage. Insurance assessors were at the scene surveying the damage.

Photo at top courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

by RestonNow.com — April 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm 0

A Sunday fire on Brown Fox Way has displaced two adults, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue reports.

Units from the Fox Mill station were dispatched to the blaze in the 12300 block at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, they saw smoke showing from the front of the two-story, single-family house. The fire was found in the kitchen, firefighters said, and they were told by residents that there had been a problem with a circuit breaker that had tripped.

Both occupants of the home escaped without injury. Smoke alarms had activated, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says.

According to investigators:

“The fire started under the cook top, in the back of a base cabinet in the kitchen. The fire was accidental in nature and was caused from an undetermined electrical event. In addition, the fire caused the natural gas line to fail which led to a gas fed fire.”

Red Cross assistance was offered to the residents, who declined. Damages as a result of the fire have been estimated to be approximately $93,750.

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