Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of fire department and police activity at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria on Monday — it’s just a drill.
The synagogue at 3830 Seminary Road will be hosting a “a critical incident training exercise” from 8-11 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Alexandria police and firefighters will be conducting the exercise.
“Residents should expect police activity, interment road closures and a variety of police and fire vehicles,” police said via social media.
TRAINING :: On Nov 11 APD and AFD will be conducting a critical incident training exercise at the Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Seminary Rd) from 8AM – 11AM and 6PM -9PM. Residents should expect police activity, interment road closures and a variety of police and fire vehicles. pic.twitter.com/WucVMvFbIe
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) November 7, 2019
Photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Firefighters from Arlington and Alexandria are on scene of an apartment fire in Arlandria.
The fire broke out at a garden-style apartment building on the 3800 block of Old Dominion Blvd shortly before 1 p.m.
A second alarm has been sounded for the blaze, but initial reports suggest the bulk of the fire — which started in one of the apartments — is now out. One person is being brought to a local hospital for reported burns, while another is being evaluated by medics for possible injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Shortly after arriving on scene, firefighters worked to evacuate residents from the smoke-filled structure.
Officials on scene say at least five residents will be displaced by the fire.
Engine and Truck 209 arrived with smoke showing from a 3 story apartment building on Old Dominion Blvd. Engine 209 quickly extinguished a small fire in a terrace level apartment while Truck 209 and surrounding companies assisted several occupants from their apartments. pic.twitter.com/r2DVhsLzzm
— IAFF Local 2141 (@IAFFLocal2141) November 1, 2019
Road Closure Near King Street Metro — “Weather permitting, this Fri. Nov. 1, 9:30am-3pm construction work will close Cameron St. btwn Commonwealth & King (red oval). King & Dangerfield (orange lines) will be single lane. Periodic 10 minute total closures will occur. Avoid the area.” [Twitter]
New Boutique Now Open — “When Sarah Bryen and Abigail Wolverton realized they’d been dating the same guy, neither could have imagined they’d be signing a lease on a boutique together less than a year later. The pair soft-opened Sassy Boutique, a mid-to-high-range women’s clothing resale store, in a 225-square-foot space in Crilley Warehouse on North Lee Street about two weeks ago.” [Alexandria Times]
Daylight Saving Time Reminder from Fire Dept. — “#DaylightSavingTime ends this weekend. Don’t forget to check your smoke alarms when you turn back your clocks Sunday, Nov. 3! If you need a smoke alarm, request one here.” [Twitter]
Police Get In on Lee Street Halloween Fun — “Tonight was spooktacular! South Lee Street held its annual Halloween event! APD stopped by too.” [Twitter]
Nearby: Fundraiser for Belle Haven Businesses — “The Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce’s online fundraiser for businesses affected by last week’s 6-alarm fire at Belle View Shopping Center has raised close to $4,000.” [Alexandria Living]
Alexandria firefighters and police responded to a collision between a train and a vehicle this morning on the 4100 block of Wheeler Avenue, near Port City Brewing.
A VRE train loaded with hundreds of passengers struck a construction vehicle that was too close to the tracks. No injuries were reported and the train did not derail, but the crash drew a large emergency response.
As of 9 a.m., the train and tracks had been inspected and the train was given the all-clear to resume its journey.
VRE Train 328 has struck a vehicle between Backlick Rd and Alexandria and will be delayed for an unspecified period of time. Updates to follow.
— VRE (@VaRailXpress) October 23, 2019
#BREAKING UPDATE: LOADED VRE TRAIN STRUCK CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE near Wheeler Ave. and S. Gordon St. #Alexandria. 971 passengers, 4 crew members on board, no injuries. @AlexandriaVAPD investigating. @VaRailXpress inspecting train to see if it can continue. #GetUpDC @Wusa9traffic pic.twitter.com/enhUyrcoN4
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) October 23, 2019
— Nick Umbs (@nickumbs) October 23, 2019
328 on the move
— VRE (@VaRailXpress) October 23, 2019
A fire in an apartment prompted a large emergency response in Old Town, near City Hall, early Thursday afternoon.
The fire broke out shortly after noon, at a building on the 400 block of N. Cameron Street. Initial reports suggest it was a fire in the kitchen of a third floor apartment, with the flames visible from the street.
Firefighters arriving on scene reported smoke billowing out of the eaves of the building. They worked quickly to extinguish the blaze before it spread to other parts of the building.
As of 1 p.m., the fire department was still on scene, starting cleanup work and an investigation into the cause of the fire.
The flames broke out around the same time as the Alexandria Fire Department responded to the smell of something burning at T.C. Williams High School.
AFD units responding to a residential kitchen fire on the 400 Blk of Cameron Street. The fire is knocked down. pic.twitter.com/kKuxWPKRTP
— Alexandria Fire-EMS (@AlexandriaVAFD) October 17, 2019
(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Alexandria firefighters responded to T.C. Williams High School around lunchtime today (Thursday) after a fire alarm sounded.
School staff members reported a smell of electrical something burning in the school around the time the alarm sounded. The school was evacuated, with many students bringing their lunches outside to eat on the lawn.
As of 12:45 p.m. Alexandria firefighters are still on scene investigating. As of 1 p.m., students were expected to be let back into the building “imminently,” despite reports that power was out in parts of the building.
@ACPSk12 TC has been evacuated…students would love some updates if you have any.
— T.C. Williams HS (@TCWTitans) October 17, 2019
10/17/2019 1:17 p.m. T.C. Williams King Street Campus students have returned to class following a brief evacuation.
— Alexandria City Public Schools (@ACPSk12) October 17, 2019
Vernon Miles contributed to this report
First responders can eat for free at an upcoming event in Del Ray.
Southern cuisine destination Live Oak (1603 Commonwealth Ave) is hosting a free breakfast and coffee for firefighters, police officers, and EMTs on Monday, October 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The meal includes free pancakes, bacon, sausage, and coffee, per a restaurant spokeswoman.
“Jeremy and I host the First Responders Brunch every year at Live Oak because we want to show our gratitude to all the folks that put their lives on the line daily for us,” said Justus Frank, Executive Chef and co-owner of Live Oak.
“They work in relatively thankless jobs, and even a small gesture such as free eggs and coffee can help them to feel appreciated,” said Frank.
Officials expected to attend the event include Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley and Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.
The restaurant is asking that people interested in attending register online.
Weekend Flooding in Old Town — “There are several road closures in the old town area due to coastal flooding. The unit block of Prince Street, The Strand and Unit block of King Street High Tide are temporarily closed. Avoid the area.” [WJLA, Capital Weather Gang, Twitter, Twitter]
City Offices Closed for Holiday — Numerous Alexandria city government offices and facilities are closed today for the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday. ALXnow will not be publishing additional news articles today, except in the event of breaking news.
Fire in Old Town North — “Engine 204 arriving with smoke showing in the 1100 Block of North Pitt Street. Crews have located and knocked down a fire on the second floor. Battalion 211 with the command.” [Twitter]
Va. Tech Launches Major Fundraiser — “Virginia Tech has embarked on a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, the largest in the university’s history, in part to help fund its $1 billion planned innovation campus in Alexandria.” [Washington Business Journal, Virginia Tech]
Reflections on Old Alexandria — “‘In those days Alexandria was very different from what it is now,’ Robinson added. ‘Landmark Mall was a municipal airport and Duke Street was a two-lane asphalt road.’ But he said that the physical layout has not changed as much as what Alexandria has become. Robinson said change was gradual until, one day, it was as if someone ‘stomped their foot on the gas’ and it became a major metropolitan city.” [Zebra]
New Hotel Opening in Old Town — “The New Hyatt Centric in Alexandria is accepting reservations for March 1, 2020. The hotel, at 1611 King St., will have a restaurant on site. It will have 124 rooms. The hotel will be pet-friendly and include a fitness center.” [Alexandria Living]
Local Zip Code Among State’s Priciest for Renters — “Alexandria, one of the most competitive real estate markets, is also one of the state’s priciest for renting an apartment… Alexandria’s zip code 22314 is the eighth most expensive in Virginia. The average $2,145 rent has a 3.8 percent year-over-year change.” [Patch]
Wreath-Laying for Fallen Firefighters — “The Alexandria Fire Department will observe National Fire Prevention Week on Friday, October 11 with a memorial service and wreath laying at 11 a.m. The solemn ceremony is held each year at Ivy Hill Cemetery, located at 2823 King St., to honor those who have died in the line of duty and members of the Fire Department who have passed away during the preceding 12 months.” [City of Alexandria, Twitter]
A building has been evacuated in Potomac Yard after construction crews struck a large gas line.
The National Industries for the Blind building was evacuated and E. Glebe Road closed between Main Line Blvd and Potomac Avenue due to concerns about the escaping natural gas. Alexandria police and firefighters are on the scene, awaiting crews from Washington Gas to shut off the line.
A slight natural gas smell was also reported in the nearby Potomac Yard Target store, according to scanner traffic.
Employees are being allowed back into the NIB building, but those who do not feel comfortable doing so are being allowed to take unscheduled leave, we’re told.
Vernon Miles contributed to this report
Car-Free Block of King Street Planned — “Members of Alexandria’s City Council Wednesday night OK’d a proposal by City staff to begin laying the groundwork for a pilot program that will see a part of lower King Street closed to cars on weekends, beginning in April. The pilot project would close the 100 block of King Street to traffic on weekends through October.” [Alexandria Living Magazine, Patch]
For Sale: Historic House With Notorious Past — “The nonprofit organization that owns the site of one of the most notorious slave pens in the nation has put the building and its basement museum up for sale, after struggling for years to pay for the mortgage, property taxes and repairs. Freedom House, a registered National Historic Landmark in Alexandria, Va., is being advertised as an office or residential property priced at $2.1 million.” [Washington Post, WTOP]
Fire Response at Taco Bell Cantina — Friday, on National Taco Day, firefighters responded to the the Taco Bell Cantina on King Street for a smell of something burning. After an investigation, a problem with the restaurant’s lighting was found to be to blame. The restaurant reopened with the lights turned off. [Twitter]
T.C. Williams Hall of Fame Induction — “Trailblazing athletes, who set the stage for the desegregation of Alexandria City Public Schools, were recognized for the pivotal role they played in our history on Thursday night during a jubilant 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame event.” [ACPS]
Reminder: Local Taxes Due — “Annual personal property tax bills (including local registration and residential parking permit fees) are mailed in August with a due date of October 5 (or the next business day if October 5 falls on a weekend or holiday).” [City of Alexandria]
T.C. Grad Sets Sprinting Record — “T.C. Williams High School graduate and adidas professional athlete Noah Lyles is your new IAAF World Athletics champion at 200 meters. His winning time in Doha, Qatar, was 19.83 seconds, with a reaction time of 0.168 seconds.” [MileStat]
5G Antenna Applications Streaming In — “#AlexandriaVA received 50 applications for small cell wireless facilities this year. Green dots on this map show the 43 applications that were approved. Ten were in the historic district, and the Board of Architectural Review approved three applications.” [Michael Pope/Twitter]
Port City Goes Czech — “We had a wonderful evening @CzechEmbassyDC with @evanrail, we goulashed, we picked sausaged and we pilsnered four ways: @Pilsner_Urquell on draught and in bottle, Czechvar and @PortCityBrew Bohemian Pilsner brewed with Czech hops.” [DC Beer/Twitter]
New Headstone for Former Fire Chief — “For over 100 years, Alexandria Fire Chief George Pettey lay in an unmarked grave in Bethel Cemetery, located on Wilkes Street in Old Town. But that changed August 30, when a headstone was dedicated to Chief Pettey, who died April 15, 1911 while carrying out his firefighting duties.” [Zebra]
Video: Salvadoran Refugees and ACPS — “On the morning of December 24, 1980, 12-year-old Ana Bonilla-Galdamez boarded an airplane from El Salvador for the US, fleeing the terrors of civil war… In the 1980s, nearly 5,000 people from just one Salvadoran village, Chirilagua, settled in Arlandria. Ana now works for ACPS as a Family Engagement Specialist at T.C. Williams.” [ACPS]
Note on What We Cover — You might notice that we do things a bit different here on ALXnow. In addition to our local government and community coverage, we focus a bit more closely on businesses opening and closing, with periodic updates on businesses that are of particular local interest. Also, you can expect us to do more breaking news coverage, from fires to crashes to significant police incidents. Two things we won’t do much of: general obituaries or school sports coverage, except when something is really big news locally.