Monday Morning Notes

“Babes in the Woods” — Parents can bring their toddlers up to 35 months of age for craft time and sing-alongs at the Walker Nature Center. Tickets cost $7 for Restonians and $9 for non-residents. [WebTrac]

Target increases paychecks — “Target workers in Reston are about to see their paychecks go up. The retail giant announced Thursday that all of its workers will make at least $13 an hour beginning in June as part of its commitment to have a $15 minimum hourly wage by 2020.” [Reston Patch]

Screen safety PSA — The fire department wants residents to remember that screens keep bugs out but won’t keep the kids in. “Screens DO NOT prevent children from falling out. Windows must operate easily for emergency exits in case of fire, but should be made ‘childproof'” — which the fire department has tips about. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Auditing action — “Some places in America are significantly more likely to get audited by the IRS than others. Unfortunately, Reston is one of them. That’s according to a new interactive map created by the folks at Pro Publica… According to the map, an estimated 7.9 per 1,000 filings in Fairfax County were audited.” [Reston Patch]

Restonian tried to get gun past TSA — “Federal security officers spotted an unloaded 9 mm handgun in a [Reston] man’s carry-on bag at a Baltimore Washington International Airport security checkpoint April 5… The gun owned by a Reston man was not loaded and was spotted in the checkpoint X-ray machine. Maryland Transportation Authority Police confiscated the gun and arrested him on a state weapons charge.” [Reston Patch]

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National Weather Service Issues Red Flag Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a warning indicating critical fire weather conditions for Fairfax County and the D.C.-area today (April 3).

The Red Flag Warning is in effect from noon-8 p.m.

More from NWS:

…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING FOR STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES FOR NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA AND NORTHERN AND CENTRAL MARYLAND…

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a Red Flag Warning for strong winds and low humidities, which is in effect from noon today to 8 PM EDT this evening.

* WINDS…West 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

* IMPACTS…Gusty winds and very dry air will create conditions that may promote the rapid spread of wildfires. Prescribed burns may get out of control. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

* HUMIDITY…20 to 25 percent.

* FUEL MOISTURE… Less than 8 percent.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Reston is expected to hit a high of 65 degrees today with sunny weather and winds around 17 miles per hour, forecasters say.

A combination of strong winds (15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph), low relative humidity and warm temperatures may help fires spread rapidly, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wrote in a post. The fire department is using the Red Flag Warning as an opportunity to remind residents that improperly discard cigarettes are a fire hazard.

File photo 

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Monday Morning Notes

Car crash update — On Friday (March 20), “units responded to a car crash on Lawyers Road and Pegasus Lane in Reston area. Crews arrived to find two people trapped. Units were able to quickly work to free them. Both transported to area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Yoga among the books — From 5:30-6:30 p.m., adults can do yoga at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. [Fairfax County]

Parks and Rec meeting — The Reston Association’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will meet from 6:30-8:30 at RA headquarters. [WebTrac]

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Fire Now Out at Home Near Fox Mill Elementary School

(Updated at 12:35 p.m. on April 1) Firefighters are “hitting hot spots” at a now-out fire in a home by the Fox Mill Elementary School.

The fire in the garage extended to the attic, according to tweets from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. The fire broke out at a two-story single family home in the 12700 block of Bradwell Road around 4:30 p.m.

A neighbor alerted the three people inside the home to the fire within the attached garage, the fire department said. “Working smoke alarms were present, however, it is unknown if they activated due to the location of the fire,” a post from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said. The three people were taken to a nearby hospital for a check-up according to the fire department.

The three people accepted the Red Cross’s assistance.

Fire investigators are still investigating the cause of the fire, which caused $107,500 worth of damages.

Photos via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter, map via Google Maps 

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston fire earlier today — Updated at 2:15 p.m. — Firefighters were on the scene of house fire in 2500 block of Freetown Drive around 2 a.m. The fire is now out. “Two occupants were home at [the] time. Fire in wall, quickly extinguished. Fire accidental. Cause: electrical event within [the] main electrical panel in [the] basement. No civilian or firefighter injuries. Damages: $5,000.” [Fairfax Fire and Rescue]

Development finds financing — “Rooney Properties secured $29.1M in preferred equity from Parse Capital for the 407-unit Faraday Park development… The project, branded as Faraday, will consist of two seven-story multifamily buildings with 10K SF of ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive in Reston.” [Bisnow]

Playdate Cafe — The Great Falls Library is hosting a playdate from 10 a.m.-noon for kids under the age of 5 accompanied by an adult. [Fairfax County]

Photo courtesy Adam Smith

 

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After Firefighters Help with Delivery, Baby’s First Birthday Party Held at Fire Station

Happy birthday to 1-year-old Lauryn, who local firefighters and paramedics in Reston helped deliver last year.

Last year, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue members from Station 39 B-Shift in North Point received a call to help deliver a baby girl at a local home shortly before 11 p.m.

After the birth, the mother and baby were transported to an area hospital, and the paramedics and firefighters continued working for the rest of the night.

Fast forward one year later and the family of baby Lauryn reached out to the members from Station 39 to join in the birthday celebration.

The birthday bash included a “Happy First Birthday Lauryn” sign outside the fire station, two cakes with one of them shaped like a miniature fire truck, balloons and a photo shoot with Lauryn and mom by a fire truck.

“Cake, balloons and Lauryn’s big sister, who was a big help during the delivery, were all part of the celebration,” the fire department posted.

Photos via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue 

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Fire Department Touts Benefits of Sprinklers After Herndon Fire Doused

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants to remind locals that fire sprinklers can help save lives and decrease damage when a fire breaks out.

The fire department has been highlighting how firefighters recently responded to a call and found a dryer fire in a Herndon apartment doused by sprinklers.

The fire broke out on Sunday (March 10) in a four-story apartment building in the 2300 block of Rolling Fork Circle in Herndon. The one person who was home at the time of the fire was not injured, the fire department said.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said the fire caused about $500 in damages.

The fire department has been sharing the story of how the sprinklers calmed the fire, along with a U.S. Fire Administration video that details the multiple benefits of sprinkles.

The video says sprinklers:

  • reduce fire damage by 97 percent
  • increase the chance of survival by 82 percent
  • give people more time to escape
  • help keep firefighters safe

The video also includes an example of how sprinkles manage fires and highlights that insurance discounts may also be available.

Image via Google Maps

 

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Check your smoke alarm — When you move your clocks forward by one hour on Sunday, the fire department wants you to also check to make sure that your smoke alarm is working with these tips and tricks. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Spring Flea Market — Missed the flea market? This recap shares locals’ reactions and experiences at the event last weekend. [Connection Newspapers]

Herndon, Fairfax companies join — “On the heels of a promising earnings report, ManTech International Corp. announced an agreement Friday to acquire Kforce Government Solutions Inc. for $115 million — expanding its federal civilian services portfolio… The acquisition adds more than 500 KGS employees, who are mostly based in Greater Washington and Austin, Texas, to ManTech’s 7,800-person team.” [Washington Business Journal]

Grow with Google — Attend free workshops and one-on-one coaching focused on digital skills, job searching and small business growth and marketing tools today at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. The all-day event is in partnership with Google. [Fairfax County]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

It’s snow joke — Heavy snow can be a health risk. The fire department has safety tips for shoveling snow. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Blockchain investment — “Fairfax County Retirement Systems has released details about its investment in a blockchain fund, seemingly to quell fears about the Virginia municipality’s two pension funds taking on exposure to cryptocurrency.” [CoinDesk]

Profile of a Restonian — “A Reston native and 2008 McLean High School graduate is serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.” The Fairfax County Times profiled Lt. Michael Hughes, who is a Navy submarine officer within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations. [Fairfax County Times]

County chair contender — Alicia Plerhoples announced on Friday that she suspended her Fairfax County School Board campaign to run for the Board of Supervisors’ chair instead. [Mailchimp]

Clarabridge nears revenue goal — “In the two years since the veteran software executive took over as the third CEO of the Reston company, [CEO Mark Bishof] has reorganized the workforce, reached profitability and topped $80 million in revenue on the way to $100 million — buoyed by what he said is the recent strength in the customer experience industry.” [Washington Business Journal]

Theatre nabs nominations — Herndon’s NextStop Theatre Company received two Helen Hayes nominations — the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Jacob Yeh in “East of Eden” and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for Mary Myers in “45 Plays for 45 Presidents.” [Washington Theatre Guide]

Photo via @billwhe67/Twitter

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Valentine’s Day Morning House Fire Displaces Herndon Residents

A fire that broke out in a Herndon townhouse on Valentine’s Day has left two people displaced and caused roughly $115,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a two-story, end-unit townhouse in the 2100 block of Oram Place shortly after 4 a.m. yesterday (Feb. 14), according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Crews saw smoke when they arrived on the scene and “quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement,” the fire department said.

The two people in the townhouse evacuated after smelling an odor of smoke and called 9-1-1. They accepted assistance from the Red Cross.

Fire investigators say an electrical malfunction in the furnace caused the fire in the basement by accident.

No one has reported injuries.

Image via Google Maps

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UPDATED: Two Vehicle Crash Shuts Down Part of Fairfax County Parkway

Updated at 3:15 p.m. — All lanes of Fairfax County Parkway are open, according to a Fairfax County Police Department tweet at 2:42 p.m.

Northbound on Fairfax County Parkway near Sunrise Valley Drive was shut down around 1:20 p.m. as crews work to free a trapped driver from a crash.

Fairfax County sent out a traffic alert at 1:21 p.m. about the crash.

Six minutes later, Fairfax Fire and Rescue tweeted that crews were on the scene of the two-vehicle crash.

Crews freed the driver about 10 minutes later. Two people were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to a second tweet at 1:36 p.m.

Image via Google Maps

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After Fire in Herndon Home, Fire Department Gives Tips for Discarding Ashes

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants to educate locals on how to prevent issues when discarding fireplace ashes after a recent Herndon house fire.

Fire investigators say that improperly disposed fireplace ashes in a trash bag caused the fire last week.

The investigators determined that the fire, which started in the garage, was an accident, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about two hours after arriving at the two-story, single family home in the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive on the morning of Jan. 31.

The Red Cross has put the displaced family of two adults and three kids up in a hotel. A GoFundMe page is currently raising funds to help the family cover the costs of “small things that add up” — clothes, toiletries, shoes, coats and more — with the hope that insurance will cover the larger losses.

Damages from the fire were approximately $347,162, including exposure damage worth $43,000 to two vehicles and a boat near the house, according to the fire department.

In an effort to help stop similar fires from happening, the fire department has several safety tips for disposal of fireplace ashes. They are the following:

  • do not discard ashes in a combustible container (paper or plastic bag), cardboard box or plastic trash can
  • do not place ash containers on decks, porches or in garages
  • put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid
  • pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool
  • keep your can outside and away from anything combustible

Additionally, the fire department recommends that all household members learn safety tips for ashes from a fireplace or wood stove.

The fire department is also reminding people that ashes can stay hot for several days.

Images via Google Maps and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

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Fundraising Starts to Help Family After Herndon Home Fire

A GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family displaced after a fire broke out in their home in Herndon yesterday.

The campaign, which was created and activated today (Feb. 1), aims to help Tim Gaffney’s family cover the costs of “small things that add up” — clothes, toiletries, shoes, coats and more — with the hope that insurance will cover the larger losses.

In just a few hours, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $2,000.

The Red Cross has put the family up in a hotel, according to the fundraiser.

The GoFundMe page says the following:

January 31, 2019 Tim Gaffney woke to the smell of smoke. The entire garage was engulfed and it was quickly moving to the house. He woke Ryan and Tara and they were able to get out. Janeen and Sofia were in MA at a skating event.

Flash forward 24 hours and my oldest friend in the world and her family are homeless.

The Red Cross has put them up in a hotel and friends have rallied around them. But this is just day one.

Our hope of course is that insurance will cover the larger losses. House. Cars. Boat. It’s all the small things that add up. Clothes. Toiletries. Shoes. Coats.

We are asking for any help you can provide to get this family through the next really difficult months until they find their new normal.

Anyone not comfortable with sending money is more than welcome to send gift cards. Anything — I mean anything — will be so appreciated.

Thank you on on behalf of Tim, Janeen, Ryan, Sofia and Tara.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about two hours after arriving at the house in the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive around 6:38 a.m. on Jan. 31.

The three people in the home at the time of the fire were able to self-evacuate. Two of the occupants received treatment for smoke inhalation, according to the fire department.

Photo via @ffxfirerescue/Twitter

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Two People Treated for Inhaling Smoke From Herndon House Fire This Morning

Two people are being treated for smoke inhalation after the Herndon house they were inside of caught on fire early this morning (Jan. 31).

Crews arrived at the house in the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive around 6:38 a.m., Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweeted.

About two hours later, firefighters had the fire under control.

The three occupants in the home at the time of the fire were able to self-evacuate, according to the fire department. “Two transported for smoke inhalation,” the tweet said.

Photos via Google Maps and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

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