Virginia News

Friday, May 17, 2019

12-year-old boy taken to hospital after apartment fire in Norfolk

Firefighters were able to knock down flames that broke out at an apartment in Norfolk early Friday morning. According to Norfolk Fire-Rescue, the fire started at an apartment building in the 300 block of Forth Worth Ave. shortly after 5 a.m. Crews were able to contain the flames just a little after 6 a.m. Firefighters rescued a 12-year-old boy and his father from the building. The boy was taken to CHKD to be treated, but it's unknown at this time what the extent of his injuries are. The sound of a fire burning woke tenant Paulette Davis from her bed. “It’s like the whole back was lit up like a Christmas tree, and we kept just hearing a pop pop pop,” said Davis. She said she’s lived in this apartment complex, on Fort Worth Avenue for 11 years. Now four units, including hers, are unlivable. “I’m just in utter shock, I just can’t believe it,” said Davis.
WVEC-TV ABC 13 Hampton Roads

Spotsylvania supervisors set aside solar money for new emergency services pay program

The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors is looking to use tax revenue from a planned massive solar facility to help fund a new pay program for sheriff’s office and Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management employees. The board on Tuesday voted to set aside $580,000 in “one-time money” from the solar facility’s “roll-back” tax, as well as a portion of any remaining revenue in the annual budget. That money would show a commitment from the county to implementing a new pay program, Supervisor Tim McLaughlin said. He moved to set aside the funds after the board learned that the county’s fire and rescue department was requesting a nearly $1.2 million budget amendment for overtime. Supervisor Gary Skinner removed the request from the consent agenda, asking Fire Chief Jay Cullinan to look for a way to cut back on the overtime costs.

Building at Hampton VA Medical Center evacuated due to ‘urine sample’ odor

The Hampton VA Medical Center was evacuated Wednesday afternoon due to a potential hazmat situation that was determined to be the smell of a urine sample, according to Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue spokesman Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum. Dispatch said the call came in at 2:16 p.m. John Rogers with the VA told News 3 there was a pungent, overwhelming odor, determined to be the smell of a urine sample, on the first and second floor of building 144, which houses mental health services. As a precaution, the building's staff and patients were evacuated. "We are looking into this matter, and we are concerned for our employees' and veterans' safety," Rogers said. No injuries were reported. Two staff members that came in contact with the substance were placed under medical observation and were released Wednesday night.
WTKR Channel 3 News

Firefighters respond to house fire in Virginia Beach

PHOTOS: Fire officials responded to a house fire on Friday located in the 500 block of Avalon Avenue in the Avalon Terrace section of the city. Around 5:35 a.m., fire officials responded to a house fire where first arriving units said there was light smoke showing. The fire was said to be under control within 15 minutes of units arriving and was reported out at 6:01 a.m. There were no injuries reported. The cause is under investigation. There is no further information at this time.
WTKR Channel 3 News

Vinton business damaged in electrical fire

A Vinton business suffered minor damage Thursday after an electrical fire broke out inside. According to a release from Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, crews responded at about 11:25 a.m. Thursday to the 100 block of Walnut Avenue to a report of a commercial structure fire. First arriving crews from Vinton found nothing showing from the exterior of the tanning business, but found smoke and flames in the interior. The fire was brought under control in about 10 minutes. There were no injuries, the release said. The business was occupied at the time of the fire. Units from Vinton and The City of Roanoke also responded to the fire. The Roanoke County Fire Marshal has investigated and determined the fire to be accidental and the result of electrical components in one of the tanning beds. Damages are estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
WBDJ7 Roanoke News

Red Cross honors Marion first paid female firefighter as a community hero

April Shipley shattered a glass ceiling, and she did so while always striving to better serve her neighbors. This spring, the local chapter of the American Red Cross of Virginia honored Marion’s first paid female firefighter as community hero. Last week, the Marion Town Council also recognized Shipley’s service. The longtime firefighter and EMT received the award during the Mountain Empire Chapter’s Celebration of Heroes. Bill Grennell, the chapter’s executive director, explained that the annual celebration helps “recognize people from all walks of life for doing great things to help make our communities a little bit nicer, a little safer and in general a better place for all of us to live -- whether it’s saving a life, providing comfort to those less fortunate, helping our children have a better education or just making our work a little bit lighter and brighter. There are many everyday heroes among us… This is just an opportunity to shed some light on them and help inspire others to do better in their own lives.” Shipley fits that description well.
Southwest Virginia Today

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thomas Tucker named Chesterfield County director of emergency communication

Chesterfield County has named Thomas Tucker as its new director of emergency communications. He has served as interim co-director of the Emergency Communications Center since October 2018. In his new role as director, Tucker will oversee the daily operations of the ECC, which receives an average of 514 calls for service each day, while managing its programs and setting goals to achieve the department’s mission of assisting its public safety partners and the public when an incident occurs. Prior to coming to Chesterfield, Tucker worked with Colonial Heights Volunteer Fire & EMS and the Virginia National Guard Fire & Rescue. He joined Chesterfield Fire & EMS in 1995 as a recruit and steadily rose in rank to battalion chief. In addition to being a certified firefighter and emergency medical technician, Tucker has served as a fire training instructor and is trained in the Incident Command System, or ICS, which is a standardized organizational system for the effective and efficient coordination of emergency response.
Chesterfield Observer

Electrical Malfunction Sparks Fairfax County House Fire

On Wednesday, May 15, at approximately 8:59 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 3100 block of Dashiell Road in the Westlawn section of Fairfax County. Units arrived on scene and reported fire and smoke showing from the rear of a two-story, single family home. Crews worked quickly to extinguish the fire, which was primarily on the outside of the house with some extension inside. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported. Sadly, two dogs were found perished inside the home. No occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by a neighbor who called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present, but it is unknown if they activated.
Fairfax News

Henrico Fire warns of fraudulent donation scheme: ‘We will never solicit our residents’

The Henrico County Fire department warns that several Henrico residents have been contacted by someone fraudulently asking for donations on behalf of Henrico Fire. Henrico Fire does not collect donations and urges residents not to give any money or financial information to someone that claims to be collecting donations for Henrico Fire. “Henrico Fire is a taxpayer-supported division of the government of Henrico County and will never solicit our residents for donations,” captain Rob Rowley wrote in a press release. If anyone does wish to make a donation that supports the mission of Henrico Fire or its employees, that may want to consider the Henrico Firefighter Foundation or the Henrico Firefighters and Families Charitable Foundation.

After fire at Danville apartments, next step unclear for some

Shonda Swanson got back to her unit at NorthPointe Apartments on Saturday after going to a basketball tournament with her son. She took a breather on the couch. Within 20 minutes, she was running out of a burning building. The Saturday fire at the complex just outside the city limits displaced more over 50 residents, Pittsylvania County Director of Public Safety Chris Slemp said, forcing some into temporary housing and leaving their next steps unclear. Two of the buildings caught fire, and 36 units had to be evacuated. Swanson got home from her 16-year-old’s basketball tournament at around 5:20 p.m., she said, and took a breather after the 45 minute drive home. Shortly thereafter, someone started banging on her door. “When we opened the door the flames were shooting out of her apartment,” Swanson said. “We never heard a smoke detector, we didn’t smell any smoke.”
Go Dan

Waynesboro Fire Department trains with new equipment

VIDEO: Waynesboro firefighters spent time in Harrisonburg Wednesday morning training with new self-contained breathing apparatus. Justin Ide, a firefighter, said the air packs are a lifeline for firefighters. He said the new air packs are a big upgrade from the ones used before. They have new safety features and an attached bail out kit. Ide said the bail out kits are critical for the firefighters, who can use them to escape burning buildings through windows if a ladder or traditional exit isn't available. "Any time we're above the first or second floor, if you're fighting a fire, and you have no other way out, it's important to be able to have this feature," Ide said. The new air packs also have other safety upgrades, including redesigned face-pieces with a wider field of view, an improved display showing air levels and power and better communication.

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