Firefighters respond to scene in Reston (Via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department)

Firefighters rescued two residents from the top floor of an apartment building during a fire early this morning.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded around 1:18 a.m. to the 2300 block of Freetown Court in Reston and used a ladder to reach the residents.

One person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Video showed a top-story unit engulfed in flames, showing nothing but the fire through a window.

Other details weren’t immediately available.

 

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An apartment fire that displaced 44 people Dec. 2 in Herndon has drawn responses from numerous services and community members to help as families embrace a holiday season much different than they expected.

Help has come through an outpouring of donations as well as help in staying in hotels for the short term, following the fire that officials say was linked to a charging cable.

“We are working to help make sure that these families have all of their short-term and long-term needs placed,” Cornerstones spokesperson Margaret Ann Lara said.

The nonprofit Cornerstones has been working with the Fairfax County Emergency Operations Center, county schools, a helpline for residents known as Coordinated Services Planning (703-222-0880), the American Red Cross of the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region and other safety net providers  to address the “devastating impact of this fire,” Lara also said in a statement.

Cornerstones, the social services organization known for assisting homeless individuals and families, has also provided gift cards so victims can purchase food, clothing and transportation. It’s also working with other agencies to provide support for many suffering from emotional and physical trauma, Lara wrote.

“In that same light, the community’s support is extraordinary. We’ve received generous offers of clothing, furniture, toys, appliances, etc.” Lara said in the statement. “Household and personal items will definitely be needed in the future. But for now, the greatest community support opportunity is to donate gift cards or make direct financial donations through Cornerstones, as we coordinate resources to help with short-term needs and anticipate the long-term supports required for these families over the next 8-12 months.”

The organization plans to partner with local nonprofits, faith and civic groups and corporate as well as individual advocates to help fulfill families’ needs for household goods, furniture, appliances and more.

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Morning Notes

Double Stabbing Under Investigation — Officers obtained arrest warrants recently against a woman they believe stabbed two men last month near Hunters Woods Plaza. [Reston Patch]

Redistricting, Tax Relief Options On Board Agenda — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will meet today to discuss big items like a tax relief package and a redistricting proposal. [Reston Patch]

Local Vaccine-hesitant Mom Gets Answers — WUSA 9 connected a Reston mom with a local hospital doctor and the head of the FDA’s vaccine committee to get her questions answered about the COVID-19 vaccine. [WUSA 9]

Big Donation Effort for Park Avenue Victims — The Herndon Police Department is no longer accepting donations for victims of the Park Avenue fire. Gift cards, however, are still being accepted. [HPD]

Robbery Under Investigation on Centreville Road — Two men stole personal property from someone on th 2400 block of Centerville Road on Nov. 30 shortly before 8 p.m. No injuries were reported, although the suspects threatened the victim with a knife. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Expansion of Reston Town Center Underway — Tenants are being sought for the expansion of Reston Town Center. The project will include more than 100,000 square feet of retail space and 1.85 million square feet of office space. Future plans call for another half a dozen more buildings. [The Burn]

Giftcards Sought for Park Avenue Fire Victims — The Herndon Police Department is seeking gift cards to help residents displaced by last week’s fire on Park Avenue in the Town of Herndon. [HPD]

Reston Association Committee to Meet This Week — Reston Association’s fiscal committee will meteor Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. [RA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The community is banding together to raise funds for victims of the Park Avenue fire that sent nine residents to the hospital.

The fire ripped through five units of the apartments on the 800 block of Park Avenue. As a result, 44 were displaced.  Two residents remain in critical condition as of Saturday.

So far, an online campaign has gathered nearly $15,000 to help families displaced by the incident. The campaign was jumpstarted by former Town of Herndon mayor Lisa Merkel and Megan Ferguson.

The fire was caused by a charging cable in the bedroom of an apartment, according to fire officials.

The Herndon Police Department had to halt accepting donations at the department’s lobby after an overwhelming amount of donations. 

“Amazing! No other word to describe this community and its generosity. We have run out of space here at HPD HQ,” the police department wrote in a statement.

Now, the police department is only accepting gift cards. VISA, MasterCard and AMEX gift cards are needed to cover rent, bills, and groceries. The department is also accepting Target and Walmart gift cards.

Smoke alarms in the building were not working at the time of the incident, according to fire officials.

At Weird Brothers Coffee in the Town of Herndon, Paul Olsen and his staff became a satellite location to accept donations.

“As of [Sunday], Weird Brothers Coffee have collected enough clothing, personal hygiene items, diapers, snacks, and small toys and games for kids and books to fill our truck and take over to the Police Station five times,” Olsen told Reston Now.

The local coffee shop — which prides itself in its local roots — also raised $1,000 from sales on Saturday to help victims impacted by the fire.

“We have been very touched and amazed at the outpouring and speed of the support for all of these families. It is so wonderful to see a community come together in a time of need,” Olsen said.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

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(Updated at 9:28 a.m.) Two residents have suffered life threatening injuries and seven others were taken to a local hospital after a fire broke out at garden apartments on Park Avenue in the Town of Herndon at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Eleven apartment units on the 800 block of Park Avenue are considered uninhabitable and 44 residents were displaced. 

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department described a dire scene at the site of the fire. A mother and three young children evacuated one unit by tying bedsheets together to make a makeshift rope.

Occupants jumped out of third story windows above the second floor unit where the fire initially started.

One rescue crew rescued three residents via a ladder. The four occupants in the apartment where the fire started self-evacuated safely.

The Herndon Police Department advised that a lengthy closure between Station and Grace streets was expected. The area opened up several hours after the incident.

The fire was caused by an electrical event involving a charger cable, according to the fire department.

Damages amount to $287,500. There were no working fire alarms in the building where the fire started.

Photo via Herndon Police Department

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Morning Notes

A Warning About Building Fires — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is encouraging residents to take an active role in practicing and promoting safe behavior during Get in STEP, which stands for Safety Takes Every Person, with FCFRD this week. This week’s highlight is heating safety. [FCFRD]

Plastic Bag Tax Goes into Effect Soon — A five-cent tax on disposable plastic bags provided by retailers in grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores will go into effect on Jan. 1. The county’s board passed the tax on Sept. 14. [Fairfax County Government]

Deep Dive into Effects of Segregation in Northern Virginia — A new report by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation and the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University offers new insights on the history of exclusion and segregation in Northern Virginia. [Reston Patch]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Morning Notes

Butterfly on a zinnia (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Afghan Evacuees Tax Northern Virginia Hospitals — The recent influx of Afghanistan evacuees through Dulles International Airport has taken a toll on the region’s hospitals, leading to issues with keeping track of patients and rising costs. As of yesterday (Tuesday), Fairfax County has taken 219 Afghan patients to local hospitals and will ask the federal government to pay the estimated $300,000 in personnel and transportation costs that it has accrued so far. [The Washington Post]

Food Starts Reston Apartment Fire — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded to the 1800 block of St. Francis Street in Reston Town Center around 1 p.m. yesterday after getting reports of smoke issuing from the 16th floor of an apartment building. One person was checked for injuries from the fire, which appeared to have been started by food cooking on a stove. [Patch]

Deer Archery Program Returns This Weekend — “The Fairfax County Deer Management Archery Program begins Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022…The archery program began in FY 2010…to reduce and stabilize the white-tailed deer population in Fairfax County in efforts to minimize safety and health hazards and other impacts related to an overabundance of deer.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Woman paddleboards with her dog on Lake Anne (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Lit Candles Start Fire in Herndon Storage Unit — Three Public Storage units sustained fire and smoke damage after unattended, lit candles placed too close to combustibles fueled a blaze on Friday (Aug. 20). Fairfax County and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority units responded to the 2900 block of Centreville Road around 2:11 p.m. The fire resulted in approximately $165,000 in damages but no injuries or displacements. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Herndon Man Tries to Bring Loaded Gun on Plane — A man from Herndon will be fined after Transportation Security Administration agents prevented him from bringing a loaded handgun onto a flight at Dulles International Airport. Officials said it was the 10th handgun seized at the airport so far this year after 19 such incidents in 2019. [The Washington Post]

County Police Dog Dies from Cancer — Fairfax County Police Department K9 Silas died of cancer on Saturday (Aug. 21), the department said yesterday (Monday) in a Facebook post. Joining the FCPD as a puppy in 2013 with his brother Bolt, Silas was diagnosed last fall and began receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He responded well, living beyond expectations and continuing to help police track down critically missing people. [Patch]

RA Urges Continued Caution Around Lake Algae — An algae bloom that emerged at Lake Audubon in July was determined to be not harmful, but Reston Association says residents should remain cautious in their use of the lake until little to no algal colonies are present. More information about how to help prevent future blooms can be found through the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. [RA/YouTube]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Firefighters respond to a townhouse fire in the 100 block of Fortnightly Boulevard in Herndon (via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter)

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Two people have been displaced, and a cat was found dead after a fire ripped through a townhouse in Herndon early this morning (Tuesday).

Fairfax and Loudoun county firefighters responded at approximately 12:56 a.m. to a reported fire in the 100 block of Fortnightly Boulevard in the Town of Herndon, according to a report that the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released in the afternoon.

Upon their arrival on the scene, the responders saw fire showing in the back of a three-story, middle-unit townhouse. Two residents were spotted at a second-floor window above the front door, prompting crews to deploy a ladder so they could reach the second-floor balcony and help the residents out.

The units also requested assistance from other agencies in the area, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department.

“The fire was quickly brought under control and eventually extinguished,” FCFRD said. “One occupant was transported to a hospital for a check-up. Sadly, one cat was found deceased. There were no firefighter injuries reported.”

Investigators have determined that the fire was accidentally triggered by an issue in the electrical system of the townhouse’s garage, where a motorcycle was being charged by a trickle charger.

The residence’s two occupants were both at home and asleep when the fire started. The sound of a smoke alarm woke them up, but they were unable to get out of the house through the first floor due to smoke, moving instead to the second-floor balcony, according to the fire department.

The fire has displaced both residents and resulted in approximately $253,550 in damages, not including water damage to the adjacent townhomes. It also destroyed a car and two motorcycles that were in the garage.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Unattended Candle Causes Herndon Fire — An unattended candle that was left burning caused a house fire in the 400 block of Pickett Lane in the Town of Herndon on Tuesday (Aug. 3), displacing seven people and producing approximately $50,000 in damages. No humans were injured, but a dead dog was found on the second floor during search and rescue operations. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Herndon Police ID Vehicle Involved in Shooting — A vehicle involved in a shooting incident in the 900 block of Alabama Drive on Monday (Aug. 2) has been identified, along with its occupants, the Herndon Police Department said. No injuries were reported, but anyone with additional information can contact police at 703-435-6846. [Patch]

Nearby: Local Football Team Bans Racist Costumes — “As the Washington Football Team continues to move away from its former identity, the franchise announced on Wednesday that Native American-inspired headdresses and face paint will be banned from FedEx Field. The rule is included in the team’s 2021 season protocols for the stadium in Loudoun County, which will reopen at full capacity for the upcoming season.” [DCist]

Frying Pan Farm to Offer Free Ice Cream — “The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park invites the community to enjoy free ice cream while supplies last on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, starting at 7 p.m. at Frying Pan Farm Park, located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon. Ice cream will be available to visitors attending the U.S. Army Band’s ‘Swamp Romp’ concert.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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Morning Notes

Herndon Fire Causes $6K in Damages — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded to a passerby’s report of a building fire in the 2400 block of Centreville Road around 7:22 a.m. yesterday (Monday). Investigators determined that the fire, which was seen on a countertop, was caused by an electrical event involving a power strip. There were no reported injuries, but the damage was estimated to be $6,000. [Patch]

Police Seek Assistance in Finding Great Falls Burglary Suspects — The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston Station is seeking to identify two men who reportedly caused more than $20,000 in damage to a house in the 800 block of Hortense Place in Great Falls on June 12. Detectives have not yet determined if the incident is related to incidents involving damage to two homes in the same block on July 12. [Patch]

Virginia to Use COVID-19 Relief Funds for School Ventilation — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to allocate $250 million of the state’s federal coronavirus relief money to projects that will improve air quality in public schools. In a statement Monday, the Democratic governor said the state funding would be matched with another $250 million in local funds for an investment that would allow for the completion of nearly all Virginia school divisions’ currently planned projects.” [Associated Press/WTOP]

Reston Hospital Completes First Spinal Implant Using AI and Augmented Reality — “Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR), top surgeons at Virginia Spine Institute deliver personalized spinal implants to a 17 year old patient. Spine Surgeons Dr. Ehsan Jazini and Dr. Christopher Good performed the procedure at Reston Hospital on Monday, July 26, 2021.” [Virginia Spine Institute]

Reminder: Weigh In On Future of Reston Parking — “Help us determine the future of parking in Tysons and Reston. We want to hear from residents, commuters, employees and patrons about how you use parking in these areas. Take our managed parking survey, open now through July 31.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Walkers along Lake Anne Canal (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Former Herndon Resident Charged in Old Sex Assaults — “A 48-year-old Winchester man has been charged with six felonies for sexual assaults that occurred between 1999 and 2001. Detectives began their investigation in May after a victim disclosed the unlawful sexual contact occurring in 2001. Detectives determined Rigoberto Garcia Nolasco resided in the 13300 block of Schwenger Place in Herndon where he provided piano lessons to the victim.” [FCPD]

Faulty Wiring Causes Reston Building Fire — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a building fire in the 12000 block of Sunset Hills Road early Friday morning (July 23) that started “in the wiring of a small, under the cabinet style refrigeration unit” and caused an estimated $1,000 in damages. The fire was contained by two sprinklers inside the building and quickly extinguished upon firefighters’ arrival. [Patch]

Tenant of Missing Lorton Woman Charged — “Fairfax County police say they have found the body of 72-year-old Emily Lu, 50 days after she disappeared following a trip to a grocery store, and officers have arrested a man who lived with her…Brian George Sayrs, Jr., 25, of Woodbridge, was arrested and faces a charge of second-degree murder, News4’s Shomari Stone was first to report. Sayrs is also charged with felony concealment of a body.” [NBC4]

Learn the History of “Virginia Is for Lovers” — “Perhaps you’ve heard of ‘Virginia is for lovers.’ That is surely one of the most memorable tourism slogans in history, despite the fact that it’s hard to pin down exactly what it means. The slogan debuted in 1969 but our story actually begins a couple of years earlier, when Richmond ad agency Martin & Woltz was invited to pitch for the state’s travel promotion account.” [The Washington Post]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Heat Turns Up in D.C. Area — Daytime temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-90s for much of this week, with a possible heat index of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit through Thursday (July 1), according the the National Weather Service. Fairfax County says to stay hydrated, remain in shaded or air-conditioned locations as much as possible, and check on neighbors who may be vulnerable to the heat. [Fairfax County Government]

Unattended Candle Ignites Herndon House Fire — A small house fire in the 13000 block of Farthingale Drive in Herndon was started on Friday (June 25) by an unattended lit candle in the bedroom. The blaze was extinguished quickly, but it still displaced three people and resulted in about $20,000 in damages. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Few Restrictions Anticipated for FCPS Fall Return — “Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Scott Brabrand said he’s ready to get students back in schools, and said he thinks it will be pretty normal as far as precautions go… ‘Our planning assumptions include no social distancing in our classrooms,’ Brabrand said.” [WTOP]

Juneteenth Celebrated at Frying Pan Farm — “The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park sponsored its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at Frying Pan Spring Meeting House on Centreville Road. While generally not open to the public, the integrity of the historic 230-year-old Meeting House and its adjoining springs, baptismal pond, grounds, and cemetery proved an appropriate location for the celebration.” [Reston Connection]

via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

One Life Fitness Workers Put Out Sauna Fire — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded to a “small fire” in the One Life Fitness Reston sauna room yesterday, but maintenance workers put out the blaze before firefighters arrived. An employee told Reston Now that the fire just caused some damage to the wood. It was the first day the sauna had been turned on in more than a year. [Patch]

CVS Allows Walk-in Vaccine Appointments — CVS Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to walk-in appointments and same-day scheduling at all stores in Virginia, joining Giant, which started allowing walk-ins at its pharmacies on Monday (May 3). There are five CVS stores in Reston and three in Herndon. [Patch]

D.C. Judge Vacates National Eviction Moratorium — A D.C. judge ruled that the CDC lacks the authority to institute a nationwide moratorium on housing evictions, but even if the ruling ultimately stands, experts say it likely won’t have an immediate impact on D.C. area tenants. Virginia has a patchwork of protections but no statewide ban.” [DCist]

Air and Space Museum Reopens in Chantilly — Yesterday, the Udvar-Hazy Center became the first Smithsonian museum to open since last fall, when the institution largely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New additions include a display commemorating the late Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and an X-Wing Starfighter from the most recent “Star Wars” movie. [WTOP]

South Lakes Girls’ Basketball Celebrates Recent Success — “#WCW In the past 2 seasons, your Seahawks went a combined 22-1 in Liberty District competition, & won back to back championships for the 1st time since 1985-1986.” [South Lakes Girls Basketball/Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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