Two Alarm Fire At Merrifield Recycling Facility

Two Alarm Fire At Merrifield Recycling FacilityOn Sunday, February 26, at approximately 1:01 a.m., units from Fire Station 30, Merrifield, responded for a report of a fire alarm sounding in a commercial building in the 2800 block of Dorr Avenue in the Merrifield section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived to find smoke and water coming from a two-story building, an indoor recycling facility. A second alarm was requested. Units from the City of Fairfax Fire Department and the Arlington County Fire Department responded along with additional Fairfax County units.

With the assistance of the fire sprinkler system and the use of firefighting foam, firefighters were able to keep the fire damage limited to the recyclable materials. The building is used by Waste Management as a transfer station.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries. Red Cross assistance was not required for this fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and originated in one of the recyclable material piles. The cause of the fire was an exothermic reaction in one of the recyclable material piles that ignited ordinary combustible materials.

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated at approximately $1,000.

Juvenile Playing With Matches Causes Annandale House Fire


On Sunday, February 26, at approximately 9:45 a.m., units responded for a report of a house fire in the 7700 block of Rowan Court in the Annandale section of Fairfax County.

Upon arrival, units observed fire showing from a bedroom window in a one story, single family home. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

Occupants of the home were alerted to the fire by their six year-old son and safely evacuated the home. The smoke alarms did not activate. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. There were a total of five people displaced as a result of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated from a mattress in the six year-old’s bedroom. The fire is accidental in nature and was caused by a juvenile playing with matches.

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated at approximately $250,000.

Do you have, or know, a child who experiments with fire? The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department hosts an educational intervention program for juvenile fire setters administered by nationally certified personnel.

Referrals are received from court officials, school counselors, law enforcement officials, mental health practitioners, fire investigators, firefighters, parents/guardians, and adult relatives.

For more information or to schedule a program please call (703) 246-3801.

Building Fire Goes To Two Alarms

On Friday, February 17, at approximately 6:49 p.m., units responded for a report of a commercial building fire in the 5600 block of General Washington Drive in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County.

Firefighters from Fire Station 22, Springfield, arrived first on scene and observed smoke showing from the roof of a single-story, shopping center. A second alarm was quickly called for bringing additional crews from Fairfax County, the City of Alexandria Fire Department, and the Arlington County Fire Department.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the store of origin and eventually extinguish the fire. A total of approximately 60 firefighters responded to the fire.

A person driving by the shopping center noticed smoke coming from the roof and called 911. The building had smoke alarms that activated, however, it was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was accidental and originated within an office in the rear of the building. The investigation determined the cause of the fire was electrical in nature.

There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries. Red Cross assistance was not required.

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated at approximately $135,000.

Photos courtesy of Ms. Debi Gerald

West Springfield Townhouse Fire Displaces Five

On Tuesday, February 21, at approximately 9:22 a.m., units responded to a report of a townhouse fire in the 8700 block of Ridge Hollow Court in the West Springfield section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from the roof of a two-story, middle unit townhouse. All occupants had safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire on the rear, exterior wall of the home.

The occupant was alerted to the fire after hearing a loud explosion type of sound and then seeing fire out the window. Red Cross services were requested, and accepted, to assist with a family of five who were displaced as a result of the fire. There was no report of civilian or firefighter injuries.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated on the exterior of the house near the air conditioning unit. The fire is under investigation. Smoke alarms did not activate as the fire was on the exterior of the structure.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $55,000.

A Very Special First Birthday

By: Captain II Bill Lynch
Station Commander – Fire Station 13, Dunn Loring

Over the weekend, firefighters from Fire Station 13, Dunn Loring, went to a very special birthday party. What made this party a little more special than most was the fact that Jim was able to attend his daughters first birthday! On October 21st, Jim went into cardiac arrest. 911 was called and Engine and Medic 13 responded. For over 25 minutes he remained pulse-less, eventually responding to cardio pulmonary treatments.

Thanks to the training and efforts of the firefighters and paramedics on B-Shift, Jim was able to celebrate his daughters first birthday.

Jim was presented with a Fire Station 13 challenge coin and Charlotte was given a Fire Station 13 uniform patch for her baby book. 13 is definitely a lucky number for this family!

Happy Birthday Charlotte and we wish you both many more. This is why we do what we do.

High School Firefighter Students Learn About Fire Behavior Firsthand

Today, the High School Firefighter students learned about fire behavior first hand by going into a live training fire.

The students were divided into two groups. One group donned their full protective gear and were required to have an instructor check to make sure the gear was correctly put on. Once that was done, the students were led inside the burn building where a safety briefing was conducted prior to the fire being lit. The second group stayed outside while another instructor explained to them what they should look for and why it is important. The groups then switched after the fire was put out.

Students inside the burn building saw how the fire can grow, how the heat builds, how the smoke can rise and bank down and travel in a building. 


The first portion of the training was captured live on our Facebook page. More photos below.

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Be A Sweetheart: Do Not Allow Your Romantic Evening To Go Up In Smoke!

a-gift-that-shows-themCooking dinner for that special valentine this evening? Lighting candles to add to the atmosphere? Getting ready to start a fire in the fire place?

If so, take a moment to review some safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association before you get started. Do not allow your romantic evening to go up in smoke!

When cooking for that special valentine:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue recommends that you use flameless candles in your home. Many of these candles look and smell like real candles. If you insist on using real candles, please make sure you:

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

When using the fireplace, please make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

As always, check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working and make sure you know two ways out of your home in case of fire!

Have a Safe and Happy Valentine’s Day!