On Saturday, March 9, at approximately 12:09 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Arlington County Fire Department responded to a reported house fire in the 1400 block of Brookhaven Drive in the McLean area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene and observed a large volume of fire coming from a two-story, single family home. Neighbors indicated that an elderly female was likely home. Crews worked aggressively to enter the home and initiate an attack on the fire in order to conduct a search for the occupant. The firefighters efforts were hindered by the large amount of fire and exterior obstacles, such as brush, trees, and debris.
Firefighters began an attack on the fire from outside. The fire was quickly extinguished. No firefighters were injured. One occupant was found deceased in the home. The Medical Examiner has identified the victim as Lucy Berkebile, 73. This is the county’s first fire fatality of 2019.
The fire was discovered by a neighbor who called 9-1-1. It is unknown if there were working smoke alarms in the home.
The cause of this fire remains under investigation. Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $398,750.
It is finally the first day of Spring! Fire Chief John Butler is pleased to announce the launch of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s “Spring Into Safety” campaign. The goal of this campaign is to promote a culture of safety for all Fairfax County residents. This eight-week campaign will focus on a different safety theme each week with a strong focus on ensuring all residents have working smoke alarms and highlighting our FREE smoke alarm check and installation of smoke alarms by firefighters.
The Week One theme is Smoke Alarms. Today is a good day to “Spring Into Safety” by checking your smoke alarms to ensure they work. Having working smoke alarms properly installed in your home can dramatically increase the chances of surviving a fire.
You can follow the “Spring Into Safety” campaign on our social media channels. The hashtag for the campaign is #SafeFairfax
On Friday, March 15, at approximately 7:20 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported garden apartment fire in the 7000 block of Rhoden Court in the Springfield area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene of a three-story, garden apartment to find smoke showing from the rear of the building. Crews quickly located a fire in a top floor apartment that extended into the attic. A second alarm was requested. The fire was rapidly contained to the apartment of origin and the attic space above. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.
There were thirty-five occupants in the building at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when a resident returned home and saw smoke near his apartment door. The resident also reported hearing a smoke alarm sounding when he opened the door. He then activated a manual pull station to sound the local fire alarm that alerted the remaining occupants of the fire. All residents safely evacuated.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen area. The fire was caused by an electrical event in a teapot that then ignited nearby ordinary combustibles.
Thirty-five occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $181,250.
National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) is this week and runs through March 23. According to our friends at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), unintentional poison exposures send an estimated average of 85,000 children to emergency departments and cause an average of 31 deaths every year in the United States. In addition, more than 90 percent of unintentional poisonings occur in the home.
The women and men of your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department want you to take action to protect your loved ones from poisoning tragedies! Take time to watch the below video from the CPSC that takes you through a house, identifies poison hazards and identifies actions you can take to prevent tragedy.
After 450 hours of training, twelve new firefighters have joined the ranks of our various volunteer fire departments. These dedicated individuals had previously attained certification as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) prior to entering firefighter training. Fire Chief John Butler was on hand to congratulate each graduate in a ceremony held Sunday evening at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. Family, friends and fellow fire and rescue personnel were in attendance as well.
The new Firefighter/EMT’s are members of the following volunteer departments:
Dunn Loring VFRD (Station 13)
Burke VFRD (Station 14)
Centreville VFD (Station 17)
Bailey’s Crossroads VFD (Station 10)
Franconia VFD (Station 5)
McLean VFD (Station 1)
Congratulations to all and be safe as you serve your communities!
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Camargo, Victor (13), Assadi, Neggin (13), Dinh, Viet-Anh “Andy”(14), McAuliffe, Alexander (1), Ahmed, Mo (10), Macolino, Brent (13)
Top Row Left to Right: Brahmstedt, Alexander (5), Cao, Tommy (13), Schmidt, Jonathan (14), Bates, Dylan (10), Rakestraw, Graham (17), Guenther, John (5)
It is not uncommon for our firefighters and paramedics to get asked a variety of questions about smoke alarms. Often, people want to know what type of smoke alarm you need and where in the home they should be placed. Our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association produced an informative, and short, video that answers these, and many other, questions.
Please take two minutes to increase your fire safety knowledge. Who knows, it could save your, or a loved ones, life one day.
After 26 weeks of intense training, the 17 members of Recruit School 144 will be graduating this evening. Check out our various social media sites (see tab up top) starting around 7 p.m., to see parts of the ceremony.
First Row: Joshua H. Davis, Bernard F. Cory, Carter T. Bowns, Austin D. Cole Second Row: Austin L. Collins, Joshua V. de la Cruz, Sophia J. Therriault, Mark G. Martinez, Christopher J. Uhrin, Kathryn M. Auer, Zachary S. Stratton Third Row: Kevin E. Weaver, Levi C. Bingman, Alberto Cabrera, Benjamin B. Rothwell, Amos J. Nissley, William P. MacCallum