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Fairfax County firefighters battle a blaze in the 7200 block of Columbia Pike (via FCFRD/Twitter)

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) A fire that tore through four Annandale businesses yesterday (Sunday) caused over $2.2 million in property damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department estimates.

The two-alarm fire began in the low-lying commercial building in the 7200 block of Columbia Pike around 7:06 a.m., prompting an extended closure of the roadway as firefighters spent hours working to extinguish the flames.

The incident was partly prolonged by the building’s instability, which kept all firefighters outside, and the need for the gas company to come on site to shut off a gas line under the road that fueled a “small” fire, according to the FCFRD.

The fire department confirmed that there were no injuries, but damages to the businesses were expected to be “catastrophic,” DC News Now reported yesterday, noting that over 100 firefighters responded.

The affected companies include JJ Salon & Barber, the mailing service Hanmi Post, and the Korean restaurants To Sok Jip and Bonchon, which is now listed as temporarily closed.

“As of right now, the damage is being assessed and Bonchon is waiting to hear how long the location will be closed to repair the damage,” a public relations representative for Bonchon said.

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

Mike’s American Grill in Springfield was hit by a fire on Valentine’s Day (staff photo by Vernon Miles)

Mike’s American Grill is back in business.

The beloved Springfield restaurant reopened to diners yesterday (Wednesday), just over a week after a three-alarm fire broke out in its kitchen on Valentine’s Day.

Despite the level of emergency response required to extinguish it, the fire ended up being limited in its reach, enabling the restaurant to make repairs and reopen quickly, says its parent company, Great American Restaurants.

“We were fortunate that the fire was contained to the kitchen ductwork, allowing us to open our doors to guests again swiftly,” Great American Restaurants said in a statement. “We would like to thank our dedicated team for their hard work, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue teams for their swift action, Fairfax County and our loyal guests for always supporting us.”

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department was called to Mike’s American at 6210 Backlick Road around 8:55 p.m. on Feb. 14 for the kitchen fire, which required the evacuation of about 150 patrons and 85 employees.

No injuries were reported, but the department estimated the blaze resulted in about $200,000 in property damages. An investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing, an FCFRD spokesperson said.

Posted to Facebook at 2:18 p.m. yesterday, the reopening announcement elicited cheers from commenters, some of whom expressed pleasant surprise at the speed of the restaurant’s recovery.

“We dined with you to celebrate Valentines Day and must have cleared the building just minutes before the fire started,” one commenter said. “Feared it would take you much longer to return. Welcome back and thanks for being one of Nova’s very best restaurants. See you again soon!”

Great American Restaurants confirmed that the restaurant is following its standard operating hours, which start at 11 a.m. daily and end at 11 p.m. on weeknights, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.


(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Mike’s American Grill faced a three-alarm fire last night (Tuesday) that forced staff and Valentine’s Day diners to evacuate.

Smoke could be seen issuing from the popular Springfield restaurant when Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units arrived at 6210 Backlick Road, the department said at 8:52 p.m, indicating that the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen.

“Crews are actively working to contain the fire,” the department said in a 9:19 p.m. update. “A third alarm has been requested. The building has been evacuated.”

The City of Alexandria Fire Department and Fort Belvoir Fire & Emergency Services joined the emergency response. Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control by 9:50 p.m., though it wasn’t extinguished until around 11 p.m.

Approximately 150 customers and 85 employees were at the restaurant during a busy Valentine’s Day dinner and needed to be evacuated, the FCFRD reported, but there were no injuries.

Messages lamenting the fire and expressing hope that everyone is okay popped up on social media, including the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Mike’s American Grill has temporarily closed after last night’s fire (via Mike’s American Grill/Facebook)

Mike’s American shared this morning (Wednesday) that it is temporarily closed so interior and exterior damage from the fire can be repaired.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to welcoming you back soon,” the restaurant said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the FCFRD confirmed today that it started in a first-floor kitchen and caused $200,000 in damages.

The Reston fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials (via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department)

Improperly discarded smoking material was flagged as the cause of a fire in a Reston home on Friday (Feb. 10).

Shortly after 1:20 a.m., Fairfax County Fire and Rescue crews tackled a fire at the three-story apartment-style building at the 11500 block of Stoneview Square.

The fire was mostly contained in the outside of the balcony. Three residents were at home at the time of the fire. One resident heard a loud popping sound from the kitchen area and attempted to extinguish the fire.

After an unsuccessful attempt, the residents evacuated from the building before the fire department arrived.

The fire caused roughly $20,000 in damages.

Fire investigators say the fire was accidental in nature and stated in the balcony. The improperly discarded smoking material spread to nearby combustibles.

A three-alarm fire broke out in Annandale over the weekend (via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department)

The three-alarm fire that ignited in an Annandale apartment on Sunday (Feb. 5) displaced 22 people, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported today (Thursday).

The fire broke out in the living room of apartments in Little River Square at the 7400 block of Little River Turnpike. Two residents were taken to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Roughly $80,420 in damages were reported.

According to fire officials, the fire was accidental in nature and was caused by an electric event with a multi-plug wall adapter.

Fire crews from the City of Alexandria Fire Department, the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management and Security were on the scene of the fire.

Fire crews offered the following advice to prevent accidents with adapters:

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue reminds all residents that overloading power strips, and power taps, can have potential fire safety effects on the electrical circuit. It can often lead to overheating the circuit, which can result in fires. All surge protectors or power strips need to be listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. Visually inspect all surge protectors or power strips on a regular basis to ensure that they are not damaged or showing signs of degradation. During the visual inspection, ensure that the plug is fully engaged in their respective outlets.

Fairfax County firefighters respond to an apartment fire in the 7400 block of Little River Turnpike (via FCFRD/Twitter)

(Updated at 7:50 p.m.) A major fire at the Little River Square apartment complex in Annandale sent a person to the hospital early yesterday (Sunday) morning.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units were dispatched to the 7400 block of Little River Turnpike at 1:38 a.m., according to a tweet.

The fire affected two third-floor apartments, extending to the attic, the department said. Three alarms were required to get the blaze under control, meaning the amount of firefighters, trucks and equipment called to the scene was three times the standard, initial response.

“This usually occurs because the fire is, or potentially could be, getting larger,” an FCFRD spokesperson said.

The reported injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The FCFRD also responded to an apartment fire in Merrifield shortly after 6:30 a.m. yesterday. Firefighters at the scene in the 8100 block of Heatherton Lane saw smoke issuing from the apartment.

One person was taken to a hospital with injuries not deemed life-threatening. The fire resulted in an estimated $20,000 in property damages, the department reported this afternoon.

A Fairfax County school bus tire caught on fire in Pimmit Hills (via Ring)

A Fairfax County Public Schools bus had a tire catch fire while on Route 7 yesterday (Wednesday), causing some alarm in the surrounding Pimmit Hills neighborhood.

The tire fire occurred around 11:42 a.m. on Leesburg Pike in front of the Trader Joe’s shopping center near Pimmit Drive, as first reported by the Falls Church News-Press.

The bus driver noticed smoke coming from the vehicle’s wheel area and evacuated the students who were on board, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

“Tire fire was small and did not catch fire until students were off,” FCFRD spokesperson William Delaney said, confirming that there were no injuries to students or staff.

FCPS says the bus was towed by Fairfax County’s Department of Vehicle Services, which manages and maintains the fleets for both the county government and the school system. The department “will conduct a thorough investigation,” an FCPS spokesperson said.

Community members on Nextdoor reported hearing explosions, with one resident saying the “second one” made their house shake. Another person said they could hear and feel the explosions from Idylwood Road.

Delaney told FFXnow that the “explosion” was from the tire “popping.”

H/t to Alan Henney

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.

A Vienna police car parked on Cherry Street (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Vienna police arrested the same man twice earlier this month for separate incidents where he was allegedly drunk, including one where he flashed a gun at a passing dogwalker.

First, an officer was called to Blackstone Terrace and Holmes Drive NW intersection at 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 2 for a report of a man standing outside and yelling profanity, according to the Vienna Police Department’s crime roundup for the week of Dec. 2-8.

“Upon the officer’s interaction with the man, they detected signs of impairment. The man refused to stop yelling or go back into his residence,” police said.

The VPD says the 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with being drunk in public. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

He evidently didn’t stay in jail long, because two days later, police were called back to Blackstone Terrace at 3:17 p.m. on Dec. 4 when the man allegedly screamed at a teen who was walking their family’s dog:

A juvenile was walking the family dog when a resident in the neighborhood began to scream at him and showed him a firearm in his waistband. A neighbor witnessed the incident and immediately ushered the juvenile safely away and back to his home. Officers located the man and, upon their interaction with him, detected signs of impairment.

The man was again arrested and taken to the Adult Detention Center, receiving charges of “drunk in public” and “brandishing a firearm.”

While the incidents don’t reference each other in the weekly recap, a VPD spokesperson confirmed that they involve the same person.

In other Vienna crime news, a Park Terrace Court resident reported on Thursday (Dec. 8) that there was “a small fire” on the stoop of the condominium building. She believed it may have been set by a neighbor “with who she has had ongoing issues,” according to the police summary.

“The resident stated that she saw her neighbor…carrying some items and placing them on the stoop. She never observed him set the fire,” the VPD said. “The fire was out before the officers arrived. Officers located the neighbor later in the night, and he denied any involvement in the incident.”

Police also responded to two vehicle-related assaults on Thursday:

Assault 22-011734
200 Block Locust Street, SE
December 8 6:36 p.m.
A citizen reported that he was driving eastbound on Locust Street, exiting the traffic circle at Park Street when a man entered the crosswalk. The citizen yielded to the pedestrian, however, the man stopped in the middle of the road. The man proceeded to strike the citizen’s rear window. When the citizen got out of his vehicle to check for damage, the man assaulted him, causing minor injuries to his face. The man left the area when the citizen got back into his vehicle.

Arrest – Drunk In Public 22-011744
Locust Street and Cottage Street, SW
December 8 11:53 p.m.
An Uber driver reported that she was transporting a passenger when the woman began to scream, assaulted her, and got out of the vehicle. The driver was concerned for the woman’s safety. Upon the officer’s interaction with the driver, they detected signs of impairment.

In the latter case, the Uber driver — identified as a 56-year-old woman — was arrested, taken to the county jail and charged with being drunk in public.

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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