Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association, are offering a few safety tips for local families who may be heading out to parties or for trick-or-treating tonight for Halloween. Read the tips below and view the short video.
- Watch for long, billowing costumes: The fabric can create a trip-and-fall hazard, as well as a potential fire hazard.
- Costumes with masks: Make sure the eye holes are large enough to be able to see sufficiently, especially for kids’ costumes.
- Portable lighting: Especially when trick-or-treating or walking dark streets, make sure everyone is armed with a flashlight or glow stick–it not only helps you see, but helps drivers see you.
- Watch for flammable decorations or costume parts: Things like crepe streamers, hay, corn stalks and dried flowers are all highly flammable. Keep these types of things far away from open flames and heating sources, including jack-o-lanterns, light bulbs and heaters.
- Lighting up your jack-o-lanterns or walkways: It is much safer to use battery-operated lights in your pumpkins than open flames. Take extreme caution if you choose to use a real candle–make sure you watch children who get near the pumpkin at all times, and place the pumpkin an area that does not see high foot traffic, when someone can accidentally knock it over. In addition, opt for battery-operated decorations rather than flame-lit tiki torches or candles–costumes can brush up against them and potentially catch fire. Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 1,000 reported home fires each year.
- Review fire safety with children: Be sure to practice “stop, drop and roll” with kids so they know what to do if they accidentally catch fire.
- Have an emergency evacuation plan: If you and/or your children are heading to a Halloween party in a building or home, make sure you scope out various exits and have a plan in place for quick and safe evacuation in case of an emergency.
Herndon Center Pitched for Amazon’s Second Headquarters — As other jurisdictions make similar bids, local officials will make a combined offer for Amazon’s headquarters to be located on the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon. [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Man Killed in Plane Crash Remembered by Industry — Steven B. Zaboji, who died Saturday in a plane crash near Front Royal, is being remembered as “one of the most iconic manufacturer sales representatives in the consumer electronics industry.” He was the owner of Balaton Marketing, which represented the Yamaha line of electronics and other well-known brands. [Strata-Gee.com]
RA Seeks Volunteers for Halloween Event — Reston Association is looking for volunteers to help with the “Halloween House & Trick-or-Treat Trail,” the Walker Nature Center’s annual Halloween event. The program runs on Oct. 27-28 from 5-9:30 p.m. [Reston Association]
Public Art Reston to Celebrate 10th Anniversary — The nonprofit organization, which formed in 2007, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Nov. 9 with a fundraising event, which will include live music, refreshments, a live auction and a raffle. Public Art Reston’s mission is to inspire a new commitment to public art in order to support community arts and culture in Reston. [Public Art Reston/Facebook]
Registration for Free Disaster-Preparedness Training Open — The Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department is providing free Community Emergency Response Team training, a program that trains residents on disaster response skills like fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. The program takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from Nov. 6 through Dec. 6, from 7-11 p.m. each night. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Woman with Reston Ties Recounts Las Vegas Shooting — Courtney Robey was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival last weekend through her work with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, based in Reston. She told her hometown news station about what she experienced the night of the tragic mass shooting there. [WAJR]
Early-Bird Tickets on Sale for Reston Home Tour — Discount-priced tickets for the 16th annual tour on Oct. 14 are on sale through Saturday for $25. The tour focuses on six homes where owners have moved within the last few years and gain and gained a new perspective. Full-price tickets are $30. [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]
Local Ghost Stories — The Herndon Historical Society shares a trio of tales about the town’s visitors from beyond. [Herndon Patch]
County Fire and Rescue Promotes Escape Plans — As part of National Fire Prevention Week, which begins Sunday, the department encourages residents to develop a home escape plan in the event of a fire. Department representatives will be available on Saturday, Oct. 14 at area fire stations, including Reston Station 25 (1820 Wiehle Ave.), to review plans and ask questions. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
‘Cupcake Ride’ Rolls Through Herndon — Herndon Parks & Recreation put on its first “Cupcake Bike Ride” recently. About 20 riders took part in the four-mile ride, which featured stops at bakeries and businesses. [Connection Newspapers]
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has released additional information about a Monday fire on Hearthstone Court in South Reston.
According to a news release from Fire and Rescue:
On Monday, October 2, at approximately 10:57 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority Fire and Rescue Department responded to a reported townhouse fire in the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court in the Reston section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from a two-story, middle unit townhouse. Crews quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement of the townhouse. Firefighters rescued two cats from the home and reunited them with their owners.
Two adult occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when the occupants investigated an explosive sounding noise in the home and found the house filling with smoke. The occupants safely evacuated and called 9-1-1. A smoke alarm in the basement did activate.
Fire investigators determined the accidental fire started in the basement of the townhouse. It was caused by an incandescent lamp that was too close to combustible materials, they say.
No one was injured in the fire. Two adults and three teenage children who were displaced by the blaze are being assisted by Red Cross.
The fire is estimated to have caused about $90,000 in damages.
Open Houses Scheduled at All Fire Stations — In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue stations will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Citizens are invited to meet firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety. Local stations include Reston (1820 Wiehle Ave.), North Point (1117 Reston Ave.), Herndon (680 Spring St.) and Fox Mill (2610 Reston Parkway). [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Farm Harvest Days Coming Up — Watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet the farm animals, see traditional farm demonstrations, take a wagon ride, hop on the carousel and more during the annual Farm Harvest Days, Oct. 14-15 at Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon). [Fairfax County Park Authority]
County Helping Residents Combat Scammers — This week’s Fairfax 50+ Podcast concerns the county’s new Silver Shield Anti-Scam Campaign, which works to protect older adults by sharing critical information to help them avoid being scammed. [Fairfax County/Soundcloud]
Car Tax Is Due Friday, But Why? — Some historical reference for why Virginia residents must pay an annual tax on their vehicles. [WTOP]
Walking Tour of Colvin Run Planned — The first phase of the Colvin Run restoration project, within Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive), was completed in August. A walking tour of the 2,220 restored feet of the stream is slated for 10 a.m. Friday. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
(This article was updated at 1 p.m. with information from Deputy Fire Chief Dan Shaw.)
Upward of two dozen emergency vehicles, including over a dozen fire trucks, responded to Hearthstone Court for a fire at a townhome Monday morning.
According to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, smoke was showing from a townhome in the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court, off Soapstone Drive, at about 11 a.m. Monday.
Units on scene 11500 block of Hearthstone Court, Reston, with smoke showing from townhouse. All occupants out and accounted for. pic.twitter.com/fAoYY3SyNi
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) October 2, 2017
In a video posted on social media at about 12:45 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Dan Shaw said the two adult residents were out of the townhome when crews arrived; however, two pets were still inside.
Deputy Chief Shaw with an update on townhouse fire in the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court in Reston https://t.co/XNQSH1dn3X
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) October 2, 2017
“We were able to effectively put the fire out and keep it contained to the basement,” Shaw said. “[We were also] able to remove the two cats and get them back to the owners.”
Fire marshals are on the scene investigating the blaze, Shaw said.
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) September 28, 2017
Check out these “Throwback Thursday” photos of the early days of Station 25, Reston, posted on Twitter today by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
Soon, the station as it has been known by longtime Reston residents will change forever.
The station, at 1820 Wiehle Ave., was built in 1972 and last renovated in 1986. It was one of five fire stations approved for replacement and/or renovation under the county’s 2015 Public Safety Bond Referendum. The new fire station on Wiehle Avenue, according to the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, will cost about $13 million. It is needed due to “outdated infrastructure and critical operational space deficiencies.”
The work on the new station is estimated to take place from spring 2019 through late 2020.
While the permanent station is being replaced, a temporary fire station will stand at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously gave its OK to the plan for the temporary fire station earlier this month, and the County Board of Supervisors did the same at their meeting this week.
You can see more historical photos of the Wiehle Avenue station at the FairfaxFirefighters.org website.
Never Forget — Today is the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Be sure to take a moment to reflect on those lost that day in Arlington, New York and western Pennsylvania.
Virginia Task Force Goes to Virgin Islands — After staging in Puerto Rico, responders from Fairfax County are in the Caribbean conducting search and rescue activities on the island of St. Thomas following Hurricanes Irma and Jose. [Fairfax Fire and Rescue]
Community Center Board Preference Poll Voting Open — Voting in the poll for three seats on the Reston Community Center Board of Governors is open through Sept. 29. All residents of Tax District 5 can vote. Three incumbents are all seeking re-appointment. Board seats are filled by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with guidance from the results of the poll. Voting can be done by mail, in person or online. [Reston Community Center]
Political Protester Gets Married in Reston — In 2013, Mohammed Soltan was jailed in Cairo for political dissidence and went on a 16-month hunger strike while he was psychologically tortured. On Aug. 19, he and his bride were married at the Hyatt Regency in Reston. It wasn’t all happiness, though: Soltan’s still-jailed father could not attend, nor could a longtime friend who was recently released after two years in prison. [New York Times]
Dogs Splash at Water Mine — Check out photos and videos from the “Dog Daze” event Sunday at The Water Mine at Lake Fairfax Park. [Aimee Cho/Facebook]
Herndon Woman’s Photo Hangs in JFK Library — Yvonne Kauffman, 84, met soon-to-be President John F. Kennedy in 1960 while he was on the campaign trail in her hometown of York, Pennsylvania. She recently learned a picture of that encounter, taken by a Life magazine photographer, is on display at the Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. [Fairfax Times]
Virginia Task Force 1 on Heads Toward Irma — Just one day after returning from Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts, the crew left Wednesday for Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama to prepare to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
$3M Lottery Ticket Sold in Sterling Unclaimed — If you bought a Mega Millions ticket at the Giant in the Cascades Marketplace (21000 Southbank St., Sterling), make sure you look closely at it. A ticket that matched the first five numbers for Tuesday’s drawing (11-17-59-70-72), missing only the Mega Ball, was sold there and has not been claimed. Whoever holds the ticket also bought the Megaplier option, meaning it is worth a $3 million prize. [Virginia Lottery]
Alston’s Strong Play Earns Accolades — In its high school football notebook this week, the Washington Post sings the praises of South Lakes Seahawks running back Spencer Alston, who it says is the focal point of an offense that has scored 42 points in each of its first two games. [Washington Post]
Reston Town Center ‘Dog Days’ Re-Scheduled — After rain Wednesday didn’t allow the event to take place, Reston Town Center’s “Dog Days” is now being planned for Monday, Sept. 11, from 4-7 p.m. [Reston Town Center/Twitter]
County Water Rescue Team Coming Home — The 14 members of Fairfax County’s Task Force 1 water rescue crew are on their way home after helping flood rescue efforts in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey. The team is expected to arrive home later this afternoon. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
SLHS Football Shuts Out Falls Church — The Seahawks improved to 2-0 on the season last Friday with a big 42-0 win over the Falls Church Jaguars. Statistical leaders included QB Devin Miles (9-13, 193 yards, 3 TDs), RB Spencer Alston (2 carries, 49 yards; 4 catches, 145 yards, 3 TDs), RB Albert Mensah (13 carries, 153 yards), DB Joseph Dagbe (8 tackles) and LB Chris Logan (2 sacks). The Seahawks next play Friday night at Oakton. [South Lakes Athletics]
FCPD Again Reminds of Vehicle Thefts — Due to an increase in cases of thefts from vehicles in the county, the Fairfax County Police Department is continuing to remind residents to lock their doors and to not leave valuables in plain sight. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
Back to School Nights This Week — South Lakes High School’s parent orientation night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight, and parents of seniors will have an information night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Meanwhile, Parents of Herndon High students are invited to attend the HHS back-to-school night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, with pre-event activities will beginning at 5:30 p.m. [South Lakes High School/Herndon High School]
Reston Woman Re-Appointed to State Nursing Board — Louise E. Hershkowitz, a retired certified registered nurse anesthetist, has been named by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to another term on the state’s Board of Nursing. She was first added to the board in 2013 by then-Gov. Robert McDonnell. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Enjoy the Holiday Today! — Remember, many facilities including Fairfax County government offices are closed today. [Fairfax County]
Labor Day Festival On Tap — The annual Herndon Labor Day Festival on the Town Green (777 Lynn St.), from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, live music, a craft show, food vendors, lawn games and more. [Reston Now]
Sunday Morning Gas Leak Disrupts Neighborhood — Fairfax County hazmat units reported to the area of Glade Drive and Marginella Drive at about 9:45 a.m. Sunday for a gas leak. The road was shut down while repair work was done. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Instagram]
Deon King Joins Browns’ Practice Squad — The South Lakes High School alumnus was released by the Cleveland Browns during their last wave of roster cuts Saturday; however, he was signed to the team’s practice squad the following day. [Cleveland Browns]
Dominion Rates Going Down as of Today –The net impact of the changes for the monthly bill for the typical Dominion Energy residential customer is a decrease of 1.1 percent, lowering the typical bill from $117.20 to $115.65, which is 30 cents lower than in February 2015. [Dominion Energy]
Bechtel Selected to Complete Georgia Nuclear Plant Expansion — Bechtel has been chosen by Georgia Power to complete construction of a two-reactor expansion of a nuclear power plant near Augusta, Georgia. These will be the first new units built in the U.S. in the last three decades. [Markets Insider]
King, Browns Finish Preseason Undefeated — Deon King, a South Lakes High School graduate, recorded one tackle Thursday night as the Cleveland Browns shut out the Chicago Bears, 25-0. The Browns finish the preseason with a 4-0 record. In the four games, King recorded nine tackles (including seven solo) and a fumble recovery. ESPN’s roster projection has him making the cut and being part of the 53-man regular-season squad. [ESPN]
Fairfax Crew Making Rescues in Flooded Texas — Fairfax Fire and Rescue provided an update Thursday of its efforts to help with rescue operations in flood-ravaged southeast Texas. They have helped save six people and two pets from flooded areas, and they have also assisted an owner with accessing and retrieving three more pets. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Last Day to Get Comments In on BikeShare Locations — Comments on plans for 10 new Captial BikeShare stations in Reston, including nine south of the Dulles Toll Road, must be in by close of business today. [Fairfax County Department of Transportation]
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s 2017 “Fill the Boot” campaign, its annual fundraiser for the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, is this weekend.
The Labor Day tradition, which has been going on for more than 35 years, raises hundreds of thousands each year for MDA. This year, some of that money will go to another very important cause.
“This week members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, along with the rest of the world, watched devastation unfold in Texas,” reads a press release issued Thursday morning. “We knew that we wanted to do something to help. The staff at the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and National MDA also felt that need. With that in mind a recommendation was made that, for municipalities interested, a portion of ‘Fill the Boot’ money should go to a disaster relief fund.”
Fairfax County has decided that $50,000 of the money it raises in this year’s effort will go toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.
The campaign will take place Friday through Monday, and drivers are asked to watch for uniformed firefighters with apparatus on display at controlled intersections all over the county.
Last year, Fire and Rescue reports that the $521,509 it raised through the campaign was the most among any department in the United States and Canada — an accomplishment it says it has achieved in eight of the past 10 years.
According to the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, funding it receives goes toward:
- The annual weeklong MDA Children’s Summer Camp, where kids from 6 to 17 years old can have a “typical” camp experience with their peers. They enjoy swimming, boating, zip line, crafts, a talent show and many other activities all tailored to their specific disability. This week also provides a respite for the families from the sometimes 24-hour-a-day job of caring for a special needs child. This camp is provided free of charge for the families.
- The MDA clinic at Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center. This “one-stop shop” allows those with neuromuscular disease to see all of their specialists, such as their cardiologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, occupational therapist and many others in one location. This alleviates the need to make appointments and travel throughout the D.C. area to the many medical professionals that they see on a regular basis.
- Research at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University.
- Programs designed to help people with neuromuscular disease live, go to school and work independently.
For more information about the work of the MDA, visit its website.
Image courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue
Budget Work Session Tonight — The Reston Association Board of Directors will have its second budget work session tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The topic of tonight’s session will be the 2018 and 2019 operating budgets. The meeting will be broadcast live on RA’s YouTube channel. [Reston Association]
Herndon High School Parking Update — Construction at Herndon High School will severely limit the number of available parking spaces this school year. A parking pass “lottery” is currently underway. [Herndon High School]
FCPD Offers Condolences After Chopper Crash — The Fairfax County Police Department helicopter had just brought Gov. Terry McAuliffe to Charlottesville on Saturday when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed nearby, killing two officers. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Center for Innovative Technology Up for Sale — The 26-acre campus adjacent to the Dulles Toll Road and the Silver Line’s future Innovation Center station is on the market as of today. It is currently home to nearly 20 companies, many of whom have leases set to expire in 2019. [Washington Business Journal]
Free Disaster-Response Training Available — The next available Community Emergency Response Team class is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Aug. 30 at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy. There are two sessions each week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, that run until Sept. 27. The class is 28 hours in length, plus the final practical exercise. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
The fire and police departments will be at the school making sure they are prepared in the event of a nightmarish scenario.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue will be conducting an active-shooter training exercise at the school (11411 Ridge Heights Road). According to a press release, this is “primarily a fire and rescue training exercise, and they will be supported by the Fairfax County Police Department, the Town of Vienna Police Department and CIA officers.”
More than 30 fire and police vehicles are expected to be around the school and at nearby Langston Hughes Middle School for the exercise. Mannequins will be used for fire and rescue personnel to evacuate to local hospitals.
The activity at the school is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. While the school will remain open for those who need to conduct business there, residents are asked to stay away because of the many moving vehicles that will be in the area of the campus.