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Fairfax County firefighters respond to a fire in the 1000 block of Westwood Drive (photo by M. Clark via FCFRD/Twitter)

A firefighter was injured while responding to a house fire in Vienna just before midnight.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units were dispatched to the 1000 block of Westwood Drive NE at 11:58 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday), according to a tweet.

“Crews arrived [with] fire visible from 2nd floor of a house under construction,” the department said.

The firefighter’s injury was described as “minor.” An investigation into the fire is now underway, and the department says more information will be shared as it becomes available.

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A house on First Avenue in Dunn Loring after a fire (via FCFRD/Twitter)

One person lost their home this morning (Wednesday) in a fire in Dunn Loring.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says it had units dispatched to the house fire in the 8200 block of First Avenue at 5:02 a.m. When they arrived at the small, wooden house, “heavy fire” was visible.

The fire was “quickly extinguished,” and there were no reported injuries, according to the department. However, one occupant was displaced.

A photo of the building shows that its windows are gone, and the front portion of the steepled roof has been destroyed.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is now underway.

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Updated at 5:10 p.m. — Patrick Aylas, the suspect in Thursday’s alleged arson incident, has been taken into custody, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.

Earlier: Local police are looking for a Reston man wanted in connection with a Thursday morning fire on Shadbush Court.

Patrick Aylas, 54, is wanted in connection with the ongoing arson investigation.

Fire crews arrived on the 11500 block of Shadbush Court at around 4:15 a.m. yesterday to find a single-family home fully engulfed in flames, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Fire investigators quickly determined the cause of the fire was arson. No injuries were reported.

According to authorities, the police department is “actively searching” for the man.

“Call 911 with info and do not approach,” the department tweeted.

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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (file photo)

A vehicle caught fire this morning in a parking garage on Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Crews were able to extinguish the fire before 8:30 a.m. So far, fire officials believe that asphalt work in the area had caught fire in the upper floor of the garage in the 12300 block of Sunrise Valley Drive.

The area is occupied by office buildings and located just south of the Dulles Toll Road.

No other information was immediately available.

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House fire in the 3500 block of Goodwin Court in Mantua (via FCFRD/Twitter)

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) One person was found dead after a house fire in the Mantua area last night, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says.

The department said this morning that one occupant of the house in the 3500 block of Goodview Court was not accounted for.

Heavy fire was seen when units first arrived around 7:20 p.m. yesterday (Monday). One person was transported to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

A structural assessment was conducted before fire investigators began to search the house and try to determine a cause.

“The body was recovered and being transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office,” the FCFRD said of the person who was found deceased.

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A house fire in the 11300 block of River Road in Lorton (via FCFRD/Twitter)

Updated at 9:45 a.m. on 12/23/2022Five people were displaced by Tuesday’s Lorton house fire, which caused $244,162 in damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said Wednesday (Dec. 21). The cause remains under investigation.

Earlier: A one-story house right by the Potomac River in Lorton was consumed by a massive fire early this morning.

Units from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded to the scene in the 11300 block of River Road in the Mason Neck area around 2:30 a.m., with Prince William County firefighters assisting.

“Arriving units reported significant fire coming from all sides of the home,” the department said in a tweet at 4:13 a.m., noting that by that time, the fire was under control.

Despite the size of the fire, all occupants were found, and no injuries to either occupants or firefighters were reported.

“Investigators have not determined an estimate for the damage as of yet,” an FCFRD spokesperson said.

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The Seven Corners fire station gets demolished (via FCFRD/Twitter)

The one-story fire station on Sleepy Hollow Road in Seven Corners is now coming down after standing for almost half a century.

Demolition work began last week on Station 28 at 2949 Sleepy Hollow Road to make way for the construction of a new, larger facility on the same site, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department announced Monday (Dec. 12).

Firefighters and other personnel moved out of the 8,518-square-foot building back in February, relocating operations to 6637 South Street. The temporary firehouse was previously utilized by the Jefferson Fire Station until that permanent station opened in October 2021.

Originally opened in 1977, the Seven Corners Fire Station had just two vehicle bays and lacked locker rooms and other accommodations for female employees, according to FCFRD.

The replacement station will be 13,513 square feet in size with two stories, three vehicle bays, additional locker room and bunk space, and a storage outbuilding.

Construction was once expected to begin in the fall of 2021, but the county didn’t open bids for a contractor until this past April, ultimately awarding the contract to Roanoke-based Branch Builds Inc. As of September, the project carried an estimated cost of $15.9 million — exceeding the $13 million it received from a public safety bond in 2018.

The difference will be covered by the county’s Public Safety Contingency Fund and a reserve fund specifically intended for escalating construction costs, according to the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

FCFRD says construction will begin in the “not-too-distant future” with completion now expected in late 2024.

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Firefighters respond to a house fire in the 6300 block of Abilene Street in Springfield (via FCFRD/Twitter)

A man has been taken to a hospital by helicopter after suffering burn injuries from a house fire in Springfield.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported at 10:14 a.m. that residents were initially trapped by the fire in the 6300 block of Abilene Street — a residential neighborhood near John R. Lewis High School.

Around 10:50 a.m., firefighters had gotten the blaze under control, but one occupant was evacuated by a Fairfax County police helicopter to a burn center. His injuries are considered non-life-threatening.

The man reportedly suffered burns to his arms, legs and face. No firefighter injuries were reported.

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Several northbound lanes on I-495 are closed near the Dulles Access Road following a multi-vehicle crash (via VDOT)

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) One person was killed this morning in a multi-vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Tysons.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department had reported that one person had sustained injuries considered life-threatening, but the fatality wasn’t confirmed until just after 10 a.m. by the Virginia State Police.

VSP said it responded to the crash in the northbound lanes of I-495 near the exit for Route 267 at 6:52 a.m.

According to VSP, the driver of a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup — identified as Robert A. Blakely, 71, from D.C. — was “ejected from his vehicle” and died at the scene. A passenger in another vehicle received treatment for minor injuries.

The crash shut down the northbound Express Lanes and multiple general lanes on I-495 at the Dulles Access Road for hours during this morning’s rush hour, prompting vehicles in the toll lanes to be diverted at Route 7.

By 9 a.m., traffic backups extended approximately 9.8 miles to the end of the Express Lanes in North Springfield, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic cameras.

This is the second major crash on the Beltway in as many days. During yesterday’s evening rush hour, a man died after being struck by an SUV near the Braddock Road exit. He had gotten out of the tractor-trailer he was driving following a collision with a sedan.

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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue engine ladder (file photo)

Firefighters, medics and other Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department employees will have a union represent them in the county’s first collective bargaining negotiations for public workers in over 40 years.

Over 800 FCFRD workers participated in a 13-day election last month to determine whether to have union representation for contract talks with the county government, which will establish pay, benefits and other working conditions.

The only union in contention, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2068 won with a decisive 797 votes, or 95.2%. The only other option on the ballot was to have no representation, which received 40 votes, the union announced Friday (Nov. 18).

With 1,533 members, Local 2068 represents firefighters, fire marshals, mechanics, medics and emergency dispatchers employed by Fairfax County. 837 eligible voters — 54.6% — cast a ballot in the election from Oct. 12-31.

“This is a monumental day for the members of our department,” IAFF 2068 President Robert Young said in a news release. “But it’s also a monumental day for all Fairfax County employees, and all of the residents of our community. We’ve shown that when Fairfax County workers come together…we have the power to have a say in the decisions that impact our lives and the lives of the communities we serve.”

After Virginia ended a 44-year ban on collective bargaining for public sector workers in May 2021, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance on Oct. 19, 2021 granting employees the right to organize, elect union representatives and participate in union activities.

Under the ordinance, the county will recognize separate bargaining units for the fire department, police and other county workers. Elections haven’t been held yet for the police and general government units.

With negotiations expected to begin in early 2023, Local 2068 says one priority will be addressing the staffing shortages that have affected the fire department and other county agencies, from police to the park authority and public library system.

Local 2068 says first responders have been forced to work mandatory overtime, adding 12 to 24 hours on top of their standard 24-hour shift “sometimes with little to no notice.” The union says its members have performed over 80,000 hours of “holdovers” — equal to 3,333 24-hour days.

“Having members work such excessive mandatory overtime isn’t just bad for their health, but it’s a potential hazard for the community members we serve,” Young said. “We look forward to addressing this issue at the bargaining table.”

Collective bargaining negotiations will last up to November 2023. A resulting agreement won’t take effect until July 1, 2024, when the county’s fiscal year 2025 begins.

Some issues could be addressed earlier as part of the upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget process, which will begin in earnest when County Executive Bryan Hill presents his proposed plan on Feb. 21.

Young said Local 2068 will advocate for merit and cost of living pay increases as well as funding for automated ambulance loaders — stretchers where the legs automatically fold up as the device is rolled into a vehicle.

“We’re the only jurisdiction in the region that doesn’t have access to these tools, tools that not only help prevent members from being injured, but also help us deliver faster and safer service to the community,” Young said.

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