A vehicle fire has snarled rush-hour traffic on the Capital Beltway in Springfield.
A truck caught fire around Backlick Road just west of the Springfield Mixing Bowl, where I-495 meets I-395. The left and express southbound lanes on I-495 were closed for the fire, creating traffic backups that extended about two miles, as of 5:21 p.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The Virginia State Police confirmed that the fire wasn’t related to a crash, and no injuries have been reported.
There was no indication of what caused the fire, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt told FFXnow.
As of 5:24 p.m., the fire had been extinguished, according to Hildebrandt.
Watch: This is the truck fire currently jamming the Capital Beltway (I-495S) heading from Braddock Rd to Springfield. @ffxfirerescue and @VSPPIO handling. Via @SafetyVid. @ffxnow @matthewyoung31 @CordellTraffic #safety #firefighters #traffic #vatraffic #truckfire pic.twitter.com/wJ6j2hg6lF
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 5, 2023
Springfield: SB 495 (Outer loop) just west of the Mixing Bowl, a vehicle fire blocks the left lanes and express lanes. One right lane gets by. Expect delays. pic.twitter.com/nuaGp3EmoT
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) December 5, 2023
Traffic camera photo via VDOT
A woman suffered serious injuries earlier this evening (Monday) when she was apparently hit by a Metrobus on Little River Turnpike.
“Officers are investigating a bus crash involving a pedestrian that occurred on Little River [Turnpike] and Hummer [Road] in Annandale,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported in life-threatening condition.”
Eastbound Little River Turnpike was shut down at Hummer.
First responders were dispatched to that intersection for the crash just before 10 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz. When police and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units arrived, the woman was found trapped under the front wheels of the bus.
“It does look like we’ve got one patient with severe head wounds. She is alert and conscious right now,” an FCFRD responder said at 10:04 p.m.
The fire department responder in command reported at 10:10 p.m. that the trapped woman was a pedestrian and the vehicle was a Metrobus.
Metro didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The woman was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with serious injuries. No passengers were on the bus, per the scanner.
Officers are investigating a bus crash involving a pedestrian that occurred on Little River Trpk and Hummer Rd in Annandale. The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported in life-threatening condition. EB Little River Trpk is closed at Hummer Rd. Please avoid the area #FCPD pic.twitter.com/QSivOK6VHa
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) December 5, 2023
WOMAN RUNOVER AND TRAPPED UNDER METROBUS— Little River Turnpike at Hummer Rd in Annandale. She was last reported conscious but with a severe head injury. She is under the front axle. Heavy-duty wreckers req'd to assist with rescue. #VATraffic #WMATA @MetroGuns pic.twitter.com/FwrdV2VczQ
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) December 5, 2023
Map via Google Maps
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is working on ways to improve service by reorganizing units and tackling recruitment and staffing challenges.
The changes were discussed at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ safety and security committee meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 28).
The FCFRD is focused on using data to inform changes to operations, guiding how and when medics are converted to ambulances and where units are located, department officials told the committee.
According to a presentation delivered by Fairfax County Fire Chief John Butler and Operations Chief Dan Shaw, the department reorganized and reassessed its emergency medical services delivery between 2021 and 2022.
In January 2022, eight advanced life support units were converted to basic life support units. The following month, four more advanced life support units were converted.
The FCFRD has also studied ways to improve its EMS dispatch protocol and overall service delivery and deployment. In September, for example, the department implemented a new emergency medical protocol to ensure needs are properly understood as resources are dispatched to handle emergencies.
In January, the department plans to convert another eight advance life support units to basic life support. A paramedic will remain at each fire station.
The department also plans to introduce a new EMS specialist position that can offer a higher skill set and bring more advanced intervention and equipment to the incident. Shaw said the position is a big moment for the fire department.
“This allows the opportunity to employ a paramedic and deliver a higher level of service,” Shaw said.
Still, a national shortage of paramedics is a challenge due to a notable decrease in people pursuing public safety professions overall, officials said. To maintain its minimum staffing of 363 personnel, the FCFRD relies heavily on mandatory overtime.
The department has around 100 vacancies, according to FCFRD spokesperson Ashley Hildebrandt.
“While we are not immune to the recruitment challenges being experienced nationwide throughout the fire service, our department has worked, and continues to work, diligently to increase recruitment efforts to ensure the residents of Fairfax County continue to receive the high quality services the department is known for,” Hildebrandt said.
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said he continues to be concerned by the drop in the number of paramedics.
“Fairfax County needs to do better than the national trend and the national average,” he said.
The fire and rescue department is currently in the midst of analyzing its staffing model and hours of overtime recorded by personnel.
At the meeting, Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay countered Herrity’s assertion that the county needs to step up its efforts to address staffing challenges by stressing that the county and its public safety agencies are investing time and resources to tackle the issue.
“It is disgraceful to the people who are killing themselves recruiting people,” McKay said, adding that he’s “tired of this nonsense.”
McKay said repeating incorrect statistics about the number of vacancies — particularly in the police department — works against the county’s goal of recruiting more people and establishing the progress that has been made.
After reporting 206 vacancies in early April, the Fairfax County Police Department welcomed over 100 new trainees across two academy classes this year. A cohort of 56 recruits this spring was trumpeted as the FCPD Academy’s largest class in almost 10 years, and it was followed in the summer by an even bigger session with 59 people.
According to McKay, the FCPD’s vacancy rate is now closer to 127 positions.
The county’s Department of Public Safety Communications, which operates the 911 center, has also chipped away at its vacancies to the point where the department anticipated reducing required overtime this fall.
Nearly a mile of Hunter Mill Road in Reston has been closed in response to an outside gas leak in a residential neighborhood.
“There is currently a smell of gas permeating the area,” the fire department said in a tweet shortly before 7 p.m. “FCFRD units are monitoring the atmosphere to ensure no hazard exists.”
According to scanner traffic on Open MHz, Washington Gas has a 4-inch main gas line in the area.
The roadway has been shut down from Cobble Mill Road just outside the zoo Nova Wild (1228 Hunter Mill Road) to Mount Sunapee Road. Fairfax County police say an “extended” closure could be required, advising community members to “avoid the area.”
Around 4pm this afternoon #FCFRD responded to a gas leak in the 10600 blk of Chamberlain Dr in Reston. @WashingtonGas is on scene making repairs. There is currently a smell of gas permeating the area. FCFRD units are monitoring the atmosphere to ensure no hazard exists pic.twitter.com/Sqb0rl5MPp
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) November 28, 2023
Traffic Alert: Officers are on scene of a gas leak in Cromwells Corner. Hunter Mill Rd is closed between Cobble Mill Rd and Mt. Sunapee Rd. An extended closure is expected as repairs are made. Please avoid the area. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/5Gguuw0bIF
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) November 28, 2023
Updated at 1 p.m. — Hiep Van Vo, the suspect in Sunday’s shooting at the Fairview Park Marriott, was arrested at 11 p.m. yesterday outside a Giant in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Fairfax County police said today (Monday).
Vo is in custody at the Montgomery County Detention Center “awaiting extradition back to Fairfax County,” according to police.
Earlier: Fairfax County police are looking for an Annandale man believed to be the suspect in a fatal shooting at the Marriott hotel near Merrifield early yesterday (Sunday) morning.
Detectives obtained warrants last night for 43-year-old Hiep Van Vo, charging him with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm as a felon, the Fairfax County Police Department announced.
Police and fire units were called to the hotel at 3111 Fairview Park Drive around 12:42 a.m. after a 911 caller reported that someone had been shot in the chest and arm, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department personnel, who happened to be at the building after responding to an unrelated fire, found Charles Anthony Ashe Jr., 44, of Maryland “near the elevators suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body,” the FCPD said.
Ashe was transported with life-threatening injuries to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died that morning.
Witnesses reported that the shooting took place on the hotel’s sixth floor, and an officer said they found blood near the elevator, according to the scanner.
The FCPD says its detectives have determined that the shooting occurred after Ashe entered a hotel room where Vo was staying with four other people.
“Inside the room, Vo shot Ashe. No one else was injured,” the FCPD said. “Ashe was able to exit the hotel room and was carried by friends, who heard the gunshots, to the elevator. Vo fled from the hotel…Evidence of narcotics was discovered inside the hotel room.”
Police believe Ashe and Vo knew each other, and the shooting wasn’t a random act. The FCPD advises anyone with information about Vo to call 703-691-2131 or send a tip through Crime Solvers.
Detectives are on scene investigating. The victim, adult man was pronounced deceased at the hospital. #FCPD
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) November 19, 2023
CRITICAL HOTEL SHOOTING— Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park at 3111 Fairview Park Drive in Annandale. Firefighters from Engine-418 were on an unrelated call when gunfire was reported. They found one person shot with life-threatening injuries. h/t @HCBright10 cc: @ffxnow… pic.twitter.com/i2TUt0sTAP
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) November 19, 2023
Image via Google Maps
(Updated at 8:45 p.m.) An explosion occurred while Fairfax County firefighters were addressing “a utility emergency” at Build America Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads earlier this evening (Monday).
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department personnel, including an investigator, were dispatched to the shopping center at 3819 South George Mason Drive around 4:30 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.
At 4:33 p.m., a firefighter in the electrical room reported “smoke coming from the sidewalk” but no active fire, per the scanner.
A firefighter said at 4:39 p.m. that a “power explosion” occurred in an exterior structure that’s attached to the building. Scanner traffic indicates that gas to the building was shut off.
At 4:51 p.m., a battalion commander reported that “we just had some sort of explosion underground over here,” adding that power will also need to be shut off. A video shared later by the FCFRD shows a firefighter tugging open a door, releasing smoke, followed by a ball of fire.
This evening #FCFRD responded to a utility emergency in the 3800 blk of S George Mason Dr. An explosion occurred while crews were working. Thankfully, our firefighter is okay. FCFRD FFs put their lives on the line everyday to protect the lives & property of @fairfaxcounty. pic.twitter.com/Odp5tBGz9C
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) November 8, 2023
The firefighter is “thankfully” okay, the department said in a tweet shortly after 8:30 p.m. No injuries have been reported from the incident, though the exact nature of the utility issue remains unclear.
“The utility companies will determine what the issue is,” Ashley Hildebrandt, a fire department spokesperson, told FFXnow.
Businesses in the affected two-story building include a 7-Eleven, Stone Hot Pizza and several Ethiopian establishments, including restaurants, markets and a butcher shop.
#FCFRD units are on scene of a utility emergency at a shopping center in the 3800 blk of South George Mason Drive in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. Utility companies are en route. The building has been evacuated. No reported civilian or firefighter injuries. pic.twitter.com/9SDeEja8yy
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) November 7, 2023
A 17-year veteran of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has been arrested for allegedly stealing drugs stored at two stations for her personal use, police announced today (Friday).
Aleksandra Olegoyna Kazmar, 40, of Front Royal faces one felony charge of obtaining drugs by fraud after investigators determined that she had tampered with or stolen vials of morphine and fentanyl from the Frying Pan and North Point stations, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
The FCPD launched a criminal investigation after it was notified of the incidents on Sept. 6 by the fire department, which had already conducted an internal investigation:
On August 1, during a monthly inspection of medication at Fire Station 36, a technician identified a vial of morphine that appeared to be tampered with. The technician observed the volume of the liquid contained within the vial was not consistent with similar vials and there appeared to be a hole in the plastic-controlled substance kit. The technician immediately reported the inconsistencies to his supervisor.
FCFRD began an internal investigation into the tampering of the controlled substance. During the investigation, three additional events were identified where vials of morphine and fentanyl were either tampered with or stolen during the months of August and September. The tampering occurred at Fire Station 36 and 39.
The FCFRD has been assisting with the police investigation, according to the news release.
Kazmar, a relief lieutenant in the fire department, has been placed on administrative leave, police said. She was released from custody on an unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Oct. 4, Fairfax County General District Court records show.
Fire Station 36 (Frying Pan) is located in Floris at 2660 West Ox Road, and Fire Station 39 (North Point) is at 1117 Reston Avenue in Reston.
One individual was injured in a Reston apartment fire that broke out shortly before midnight last night (Thursday).
The fire broke out in garden-style apartments in the 1400 block of Esplanade Court, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
The man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Crews believe the fire — which was extinguished —started in the bathroom. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
(Updated at 8:05 p.m.) Thousands of people in Fairfax County have been hit by power outages in the wake of a thunderstorm that’s continuing to march eastward toward D.C.
As of 7:15 p.m., there were 16,029 customers in Fairfax County and another 1,770 customers in Fairfax City without power, according to Dominion Energy’s outage map, which shows 90 separate outages.
The most sizable outages appear to be focused south of I-66, with thousands affected around Fairfax City, including around George Mason University’s campus, and Fairfax Station. Major outages also appear in Great Falls, Annandale and Lincolnia.
The outages may have affected the Burke Centre Library and the John Marshall Library in Rose Hill. Fairfax County Public Library says both branches were closed at 6:45 p.m. “due to facilities issues.”
While there have been no reports of hail or tornadoes yet, the storm has kept the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department busy with calls for downed wires and trees.
The department reported at 5:54 p.m. that it had units working 12 different calls for outside fires.
Road closures have also cropped up, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. A spokesperson says no major roads have been shut down, but “there are several secondary roads that may have debris or downed wires.”
“Due to inclement weather, multiple roads in Fairfax County are closed or blocked. #FCPD will respond and provide updates as soon as possible,” the department said on Twitter.
Severe Storms rolling through Fairfax, VA from my camera. Seems like we had a quick downburst. @MatthewCappucci @capitalweather @MikeTFox5 @Brian7NewsDC @SCweather_wx @NWS_BaltWash @chesterlampkin @RyanMiller_WX @AdamMooreWX @TonyPannWBAL @WeatherNation pic.twitter.com/sGhsx6CHlN
— Tommy (@TommyHornWX) August 7, 2023
Northern Virginia: 47,481
Fairfax Co: 12,493
Fairfax City: 1,770
Prince William Co: 2,154
Fairfax City: 1,770
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) August 7, 2023
#FCFRD is currently working 12 outside fire calls, most involving downed trees and wires due to the storms moving through the area. Know who to call if you see downed trees or wires. pic.twitter.com/WVTatrT8eS
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) August 7, 2023
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 7, 2023
We’re holding trains at some stations and delaying bus service on some routes based on weather patterns. Please stay safe. #wmata
— Metro Forward (@wmata) August 7, 2023
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A gas leak has closed Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) at Beulah Road and Forestville Drive in the Wolf Trap area.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units are currently at the scene and expect to be there for “an extended period of time,” the department said at 11:39 a.m.
“Leesburg Pike is closed in both directions. Please seek alternative routes,” the FCFRD said.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the closure may last “several days” as crews make repairs.
A Washington Gas representative says “a third party” hit one of the company’s 6-inch main lines. The location of the line required the intersection to close for repairs.
The “large volume” gas line was hit during construction work on the roadway, according to the FCPD public affairs bureau.
“Due to the scope of the repair ahead, it is estimated that the repair will take several days,” Sgt. Jacob Pearce told FFXnow.
Construction to widen Route 7 from Reston Avenue to Jarrett Valley Drive just north of Tysons has been underway since 2019.
#FCFRD units are on scene of an outside gas leak at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Forestville Drive in the Great Falls area. Crews will be on scene for an extended period of time. Leesburg Pike is closed in both directions. Please seek alternative routes. pic.twitter.com/fAP7Dj6nac
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) July 21, 2023
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) July 21, 2023