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by Karen Goff May 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm 2 Comments

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police report that Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers was involved in a vehicle crash Thursday morning that left the other driver injured.

From Fairfax County Police:

On Thursday, May 26 at 8:01 a.m., Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers called the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) to report that he had just been involved in a motor vehicle crash on Lee Highway (Rt. 29) at the intersection of the Fairfax County Parkway (Rt. 286).

Patrol officers from the Fair Oaks District Station responded and located the crash. The investigation is underway.

Chief Bowers was on-duty, operating his assigned county vehicle, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, southbound on the Rt. 29 ramp approaching the ramp to northbound Rt. 286.

The other vehicle involved was a 2002 BMW, driven by a 36-year-old man from the Fairfax area. The BMW was on the northbound Rt. 286 ramp approaching Rt. 29.

The front of the Tahoe collided with the right side of the BMW, in the intersection.

The driver of the BMW was transported to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Chief Bowers was not injured.

Detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department Crash Reconstruction Unit are assisting with the crash investigation. An administrative investigation will be conducted by the Deputy County Executive for Public Safety, David M. Rohrer.

Anyone who witnessed this crash, or who has information about this incident is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at703-691-2131 .

**Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg & data rates may apply. Go to crimesolvers.net for Terms & Conditions.

by Karen Goff May 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm 23 Comments

Fairfax County AmbulanceIn Virginia, more people die from heroin overdoses than car crashes each year, state officials say.

Fairfax County is no exception, where the number of drug overdoses is rapidly increasing.

Fairfax County officials said there was one day earlier this year where fire and recuse personnel was called to four overdoses in one day.

That is why Fairfax County is hosting a Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Town Hall Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. The town hall is at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. It will also be broadcast of Fairfax County Channel 16.

Heroin is a public health crisis in our community and around the nation and Fairfax County is working to address it,” Pat Herrity, Springfield Supervisor, said in a release. “The problem is in your neighborhood. It is occurring across the county, not just in “bad” neighborhoods. … Education and public awareness are important parts of combating this growing crisis. Seventy percent of heroin addicts reportedly start with prescription drugs.” (more…)

by Karen Goff January 23, 2016 at 9:25 am 0

Fairfax County Firefighters recused a St. Bernard from an icy lake/Credit: Fairfax County

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue crews were called to a partially frozen lake to make a rescue just as the storm picked up Friday night. The citizen in peril was a large dog that had fallen through the ice.

The rescue happened on the other side of the county in Fairfax Station, but we’re posting it here to show the skills and heart of all Fairfax County Fire Rescue medics.

Milo, a Saint Bernard, walked out onto the ice at Woodglen Lake in Fairfax Station as his owners were tubing nearby, firefighters said. At the time of rescue the temperature was 21 degrees with a wind chill of 8 degrees and blowing snow.

When firefighters arrived, the found the dog about 30 feet from shore, so they formulated a rescue plan that included rescuers jumping into the icy water.

Fairfax County medics and firefighters routinely train for ice rescues. They can sometimes be seen on Reston’s lakes (if they are frozen) practicing drills.

The dog was rescued from the freezing pond and placed in the medic unit for drying and re-warming. After about 30 minutes, the dog and owners were taken home and warming efforts continued.

Firefighters said late Friday that the dog is doing well. After rewarming the dog appears healthy and in no distress, they said.

Check out video of the rescue on Fire Rescue’s Facebook page.

Photo: Fairfax County Firefighters recused a St. Bernard from an icy lake/Credit: Fairfax County

by Karen Goff December 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm 1 Comment

Gas leak at Terraset Elementary

Students and staff at Reston’s Terraset Elementary were on lockdown in the school cafeteria for about an hour on Wednesday due to a gas leak at the school.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue crews were called to the school about 11:40 a.m. for a smell of gas. The leak, in the rear outside of the building, was located and capped. Crews determined it was safe for people to remain in the part of the school away from the leak while it was fixed.

Most students returned to their classrooms or safe areas of the building by 12:45 p.m. Upper-grade students in the temporary classrooms outside the school remained in the trailers. There were no injuries.

“As always, we were pleased with the appropriate and responsible conduct of our students and the professional manner of our staff,” principal Lindsay Trout said in an email to Terraset parents and guardians after the school day resumed. “We truly have a responsive and caring school family.”

Terraset’s grounds have been an active construction site for more than a year as the nearly 40-year-old school is undergoing a major renovation.

by Karen Goff November 10, 2015 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire RescueFairfax County Fire Rescue officials have charged three juveniles from Herndon with setting fires at Runnymeade Park.

Runnymeade is located off Herndon Parkway between Elden Street and Queens Row Street in the town of Herndon.

The suspects, all male, were charged on Monday for an incident that happened Oct. 16.

Fire officials charged the boys with one count of setting fire to woods, fences, grass; a class six felony. They were also charged with one count of  mischievous fire play involving the burning leaves and paper near the historic Carroll House inside the park; a class one misdemeanor.

The Carroll House, a stone house built in 1909, is listed on the Virginia Historical Registry.

by Karen Goff September 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire RescueA local man is facing charges after he set fire to a grassy area outside his apartment building in the 2500 block of Wasser Terrace.

Fairfax County Fire investigators charged Yun Cho Han, 57, with intentionally setting an outside fire on Wednesday. The fire was set in a landscaped area of bushes and grasses adjacent to an apartment building at 2521 Wasser Terrace in unincorporated Herndon. Wasser Terrace is located off of Sunrise Valley Drive near the Westin Washington Dulles Airport Hotel.

Han was charged with Virginia Code 18.2-86, fire capable of spreading, a class six felony. There was no property damage or injuries.

He is currently being held in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, police said.

by Karen Goff August 31, 2015 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire RescueA charcoal grill left too close to combustibles on an outdoor deck caused a fire to a townhouse on Hemingway Drive in Reston early Sunday.

Fairfax County Fire Rescue were called to the house at 11536 Hemingway at about 1:40 a.m.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from all levels of a middle unit, three-story townhouse upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive exterior and interior fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes.

Fire Rescue officials said occupants from several nearby townhouses all escaped without injuries. Two occupants have been displaced and are receiving Red Cross support.

Smoke alarms did not activate as the fire started on the exterior. The accidential blaze caused $232,000 in damage, fire officials said.

Fairfax County Fire Rescue says to keep these safety tips in mind to prevent a grill fire:

  • Grills should be placed at least 15 feet from any home, building, or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • Charcoal must be kept dry. Spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home. A backyard shed is a good place.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
  • Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.
  • Use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved electrical starters in place of lighter fluid.
  • Never use a grill on apartment or condominium balconies. This practice is one of the biggest dangers with grills. It is unsafe and against the law.

by Karen Goff July 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1,605 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire RescueA driver was extricated from his car by Fairfax County Fire Rescue crews and taken by helicopter to the hospital Friday morning after his car hit a tree at Baron Cameron Avenue and and North Village Road, Fire Rescue officials said.

A Fire Rescue spokeswoman said the driver in the one-car accident hit the tree a little after 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

The driver, the only occupant of the car, was seriously injured. Rescue crews landed the chopper at Baron Cameron Park about 11 a.m. and transported the driver to the hospital.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

file photo

by Karen Goff July 29, 2015 at 8:50 am 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire RescueThe intense thunderstorm that rolled through Reston on Monday struck a townhouse and caused a fire, Fairfax County Fire Rescue officials said.

Units responded to a house at 11153 Lake Chapel Lane about 4:10 p.m. on Monday.

Firefighters encountered smoke coming from the four-story townhouse. Crews quickly extinguished the fire. Two people were home when the fire broke out, and escaped unharmed.

The occupants discovered the fire prior to the activation of smoke alarms. There were no injuries, officials said.

Damage is estimated at $15,000.

Investigators said the fire started when the lighting struck a natural gas line and entered a wall inside the home, causing the fire.

Around the same time Monday, lightning struck the visitors center and boathouse at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston. There was no fire and no injuries.

by Karen Goff July 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm 1,050 0

Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

Lightning struck several times at Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park during Monday’s quick-but-strong thunderstorm.

Park managers said the visitors center, the boathouse and a tree all appeared to be hit by lightning when the storms rolled through about 4 p.m.

Children in the after-camp program were in the building at the time but were evacuated to the locker rooms at The Water Mine, managers said. The Water Mine also closed for the day when the storms came.

Fairfax County emergency crews were called and it was determined there were no injuries and no significant damage other than a damaged tree.

Photo: Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

by Karen Goff June 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm 1,361 2 Comments

Fairfax County Fire RescueFairfax County Fire Rescue says a electrical malfunction led to a fire that caused major damage to a commercial high rise building onTuesday.

Units were called to 13820 Sunrise Valley Dr. in Herndon, near the Westin Washington Dulles, about 7:45 p.m.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke coming from the lower level of the 10-story building upon arrival. Upon further investigation, firefighters found fire in the first floor “battery room.” Additionally, an outside transformer caught fire near the building.

The incident commander issues a second alarm, which brought more than 60 firefighters to the scene.

There were approximately 50 employees in the building when the fire broke out. All were able to get out of the building. There were no injuries.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the room of origin and transformer with no fire extension to other parts of the building.

Firefighters said the automatic fire alarm did activate; however, a security officer called 911 after hearing an explosion. One sprinkler head did activate helping to keep the fire contained.

Damage is estimated at $2 million.

The fire has been ruled accidental. An electrical event in the control module to the uninterruptible power supply caused the fire, officials said.

by Karen Goff June 1, 2015 at 9:00 am 0

Fairfax County Fire RescueFairfax County Fire Rescue said improperly discarded smoking materials caused a fire on the deck of a Reston townhouse on Sunday.

Units responded to 11708 Great Owl Circle about 4:40 p.m. They encountered smoke and fire coming from the rear deck of the two-story townhouse. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

Three people were home when the fire broke out and escaped safely and there were no injuries, firefighters said.

Damage is estimated at $2,000.

The smoking materials had been discarded in a flower pot on the deck.

Fairfax County Fire Rescue says smokers should always follow these tips to avoid fire:

  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.

by Karen Goff May 26, 2015 at 10:45 am 1,268 2 Comments

Fairfax County Fire RescueFairfax County Fire and Rescue officials say an accidental fire caused $50,000 to a restaurant at 13861 Sunrise Valley Dr. on Saturday.

Units were called to the commercial area about 9:40 p.m., where they found smoke and fire coming from Sizzling Express Deli, which is located in an office building in unincorporated Herndon.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the first floor of the four-story building upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire, officials said.

There was no one in the restaurant when the fire broke out. The alarm company called 911 after a smoke alarm activated. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

Fire investigators have determined the fire was accidental and caused by an unattended pan on a hot stove.

by Karen Goff April 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm 3 Comments

VA-TF1 Dog and Supplies/Credit: Fairfax County Fire Rescue

A team from Fairfax County Virginia Task Force 1 (VA-TF1) Search-and-Rescue team is expected to land in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday to aid in the recovery efforts following Saturday’s earthquake.

More than 3,000 people have been killed and many more injured or missing after the 7.9-magnitude quake struck the area.

VA-TF1 is a team of more than 200 specially trained personnel and dogs capable in disaster response. The team specializes in rescues from collapsed buildings.

When activated, the Task Force is comprised of 70 persons that consists of firefighters and paramedics from the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department (both career and volunteer) and highly trained civilians,  including physicians, canine handlers, structural engineers, communications experts and heavy rigging specialists.

Six dogs will be making the trip to Nepal, Fairfax County officials said.

VA-TF1 partners with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and US Agency for International Development (USAID). When activated by either federal partner, all related expenses are fully reimbursed by either, resulting in no cost to the citizens of Fairfax County.

VA-TF1 has helped with such disasters as Hurricane Sandy, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina.

VA-TF1 Dog and Supplies/Credit: Fairfax County Fire Rescue

by Karen Goff April 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Fiedler, an injured dog whose owner is a Reston firefighter/Credit: Go Fund Me

Fiedler, a search-and-rescue dog whose owner works at Fairfax County Fire Rescue Station 39 (North Point), has some big medical bills he needs to pay.

The dog suffered a bad leg injury in training last week and needed surgery to repair a hind leg and associated ligament damage.

Fiedler specializes in human remains detection. Under the contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, handlers are responsible for costs associated with their dog, said Stephen Haines, who, along with Fiedler’s owner, Sally Dickenson, is a technician at Station 39.

Haines has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Fiedler’s medical care. The surgery was successful and Fielder is expected to make a full recovery and return to duty, says Haines.

Wrote Haines on the fundraising page: “Fielder, a search-and-rescue K9 and my buddy, suffered a catastrophic injury during training on April 1st. He fell, hit a rock, and broke his leg, simultaneously disarticulating the joint. He may have to retire from searches.

His surgery was April 2nd and he is recovering. The bill for the operation will be around $5,000. I was hoping to help his owner with this expense if I could. This dog is a hero and has helped bring loved ones home many times, including several times for our military members. If you can help at all it would be appreciated, anything raised over this amount will be used for his rehab.”

Last year, Fielder was deployed to Oso, Wash., to look for mud slide victims. Fielder also went on a Department of Defense mission to Kyrgyzstan to help find a missing American airman’s remains following an aerial refueling tanker crash.

Photo: Fiedler/Courtesy Go Fund Me

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