Mount Vernon Apartment Fire Caused By Unattended Cooking

On Tuesday, May 16, at approximately 9:27 a.m., units responded to a reported apartment fire in the 8200 block of Russell Road in the Mount Vernon section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find smoke showing from the second floor of a three story garden apartment. Firefighters discovered an active kitchen fire in an apartment and made an aggressive attack to extinguish the fire. Their quick response prevented the fire from spreading any further.

One occupant was home in the apartment at the time of the fire and was alerted to the fire by the smoke alarm.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated in the kitchen area. The fire was accidental in nature and was caused by an unattended pot of oil left on the stove while still heating.

Tenants from two apartments were displaced. Red Cross services were offered on scene but declined. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $46,875.

Photos courtesy of Anthony Kelleher.

Gas Station Roof Catches Fire In West Falls Church Area

On Friday, May 19, at approximately 1:03 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported fire in a gas station in the West Falls Church section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported fire showing from the roof of a one story gas/automotive service station. Firefighters advanced fire hose to the roof and were able to quickly extinguish the fire. 

The business was closed and unoccupied at the time of the fire. A passerby saw flames from the roof of the building and called 9-1-1. The building did not have smoke detectors or fire suppression systems installed. 

The business will remain closed as a result of the fire. Red Cross services were not required. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the soffit area of the roof. The fire was accidental in nature and caused by combustible materials (bird’s nest) to close to a heat source (fluorescent light fixture).

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated at approximately $60,000.

Celebrate National EMS Week!

Celebrate National EMS Week!
This week, May 21-27, is the 43rd annual National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week! All firefighters in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department are EMS providers by virtue of all having certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at the minimum. As well, several hundred more have certification as a Paramedic.

So thank you to all of our career and volunteer fire and rescue personnel for all you do in the world of emergency medicine! Look for some posts this week here, and on our social media sites, celebrating EMS Week.

Paramedic Students Gearing Up For Final Exam

By: Lieutenant Christopher Zach, NREMT-P
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
EMS Training

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s VCU paramedic students are nearing the end of their initial education program. The foundation has been laid, now they are refining that knowledge by continually running real-time scenarios to prepare them for their field ride along with Richmond Ambulance Authority, and ultimately, the National Registry test. Up until this point, the students had practiced EMS scenarios in the comfort of the Fire Academy, but that was about to change.

Last week, the students were brought to one of Fairfax County’s offsite training facilities for two very unique training opportunities. The first of which took place in what is called “Practical Plaza,” where there are mock occupancies set up in order to run scenarios in a realistic environment. Some of the occupancies include a coffee shop, a convenience store, bar, bank, and even a pizza shop. Behind the mock store occupancies is even an alleyway. Students acting as patients were moulaged and acted as the live interactive patient, while others acted as bystanders or family members/coworkers who were intended to be both helpful and distracting to the call.

The students were also taken to another county training site, where they have a “maze house” that is laid out like an apartment building with tight corners that are difficult to maneuver a stretcher through. In addition to demonstrating proper EMS interventions, the students also had to figure out the best way to both arrive to, enter and exit a scene with their equipment and cot. They were able to respond to the location in an ambulance provided by the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department. They quickly learned how important unit position is, as well as how time consuming it may be to retrieve a piece of equipment that was not initially brought into the incident and located back on the ambulance.

The VCU students have been doing scenarios for a while now, but placing them in new and realistic training environments, as well as adding the logistical elements to the scenarios, greatly increased the complexity and learning experience. By the end of the week they had really learned how much more there is to successfully running an incident beyond just the patient care.

Shed Fire Spreads To Woodley North Home

On Wednesday, May 17, at approximately 8:08 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported shed fire in the 2900 block of Harrison Road in the Woodley North section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported a shed in the backyard heavily involved in fire and spreading to a two-story house. Firefighters quickly went to work extinguishing the fire and preventing any further spread. There was some damage to neighboring homes as a result of radiant heat from the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The fire was discovered by an occupant of the home who called 9-1-1. The smoke alarm did not alert the occupants to the fire as the fire originated outside.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the shed. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

A total of eight people were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $47,500. The total is for the shed only.  

Deputy County Executive And Fire Chief Visit Fire Station 26

Yesterday (5/18/17) Deputy County Executive Rohrer and Fire Chief Bowers stopped by Fire Station 26, Edsall Road, A-Shift on the shifts first day back to work since the fire in their station.

Both Deputy County Executive Rohrer and Fire Chief Bowers expressed relief that everyone had escaped the fire unharmed. They also wanted to ensure that all of the crews needs were being met as the station continues to operate in temporary accommodations.

Captain Kuley conveyed to the Deputy County Executive and Fire Chief how proud he was of his crew for their actions during the early morning hours on Sunday, May 14 when they were alerted to a fire in the station. Everyone played a critical role in coordinating the safe removal of the remaining equipment and then transitioning immediately to firefighting operations.

Captain Menton, Station Commander, and Captain Kuley then took Deputy County Executive Rohrer and Fire Chief Bowers on a tour of the facility and provided an update on clean up and construction.

Burke Townhouse Fire Injures Three

On Wednesday, May 17, at approximately 6:39 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department responded to the 10700 block of Spring Oak Court in the Burke Centre section of Fairfax County for a fire in a townhouse.

Station 32, Fairview, arrived on scene to find a two-story townhouse with fire visible from two floors. Firefighters quickly began an aggressive attack on the fire. Three occupants were discovered outside in the rear of the townhouse. Two occupants suffered burn injuries and one sustained injuries as a result of jumping from a second floor window. The fire was brought under control in approximately 20 minutes. There were no firefighter injuries reported.

The home was occupied by three adults when the fire occurred. Working smoke alarms were present in the home. One of the occupants discovered the fire prior to the smoke alarm sounding and alerted the others. Two of the occupants had to escape the home by jumping out of a second floor window.

Two dogs and a cat were found deceased. All three occupants were transported to the hospital. A total of four displaced occupants will be receiving Red Cross assistance.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated in the living room on the first floor. The fire was accidental in nature and caused by an electrical event involving a floor lamp, which ignited ordinary combustibles in close proximity.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $253,062.