Virginia News

Monday, September 23, 2019

Albemarle County Barn Destroyed by Blaze

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office is trying to figure out what sparked a blaze that destroyed a barn at Verulam Farm on Bloomfield Road early Monday morning. Firefighters were first called to the scene just before 5 a.m. Monday. When crews arrived on scene, the barn was fully engulfed in fire. No one was hurt and no animals were harmed. Deputy Fire Marshal Shawn Maddox says the barn was used to store vehicles and horses, but the animals were outside at the time of the blaze. "We actually had the property owner here when we got here, so he knew all the horses were out and that his family was accounted for,” he stated. “Pretty much it was protecting the adjoining property, keeping it from spreading."

Two displaced following fire in Portsmouth

An adult and child are out of their home following a late-night fire in Portsmouth. According to Portsmouth Fire Rescue, firefighters were called out to the 2800 block of Turnpike Road a little after 10:30 Sunday night. Arriving units saw light smoke coming from the second floor of a two-story home. Crews were able to quickly put out a small fire in a bedroom. The apartment received moderate smoke damage. Everyone was able to get out of the building OK, and no injuries are reported. The displaced adult and child were able to stay with family members. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
WVEC-TV ABC 13 Hampton Roads

Lawn mower, tractor spark two separate brush fires in Botetourt County

In less than 24 hours, firefighters in Botetourt County battled two brush fires over the weekend. A lawnmower sparked the first fire Saturday, scorching about a quarter of an acre of land, according to the Troutville Volunteer Fire Department. Then Sunday, crews responded to brush fire around 2 p.m. along the 7700 block of Lee Highway. A bush-hogging tractor is being blamed for starting the flames that burned nearly a half-acre. Troutville Volunteer Fire Department is now warning people to be cautious outdoors and avoid any burns because the county is facing abnormally dry conditions.
WBDJ7 Roanoke News

Virginia board declines to require sprinklers in new homes, angering firefighters

Sprinklers save lives in fires and are required in most types of commercial and multi-family home construction. But the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development has decided they’re not needed in single-family homes and townhouses, a decision that has angered firefighters in Northern Virginia. Homebuilders, on the other hand, are applauding the 10-4 vote by the board, saying the cost of installing sprinklers in new homes would make it difficult to build the 75,000 new homes the region is expected to need over the next few decades. Among the critics is Keith Johnson, who proposed the defeated sprinkler requirement. Johnson is chief of the Loudoun County Combined Fire-Rescue System and a member of the housing developing board.
Fairfax News

Several vehicles catch fire in Richmond parking garage

Richmond firefighters responded to a parking garage in Shockoe Slip where several vehicles were found on fire Monday Morning. A crew responded to 100 Virginia Street and found several vehicles on fire in the basement of the building parking lot. Officials say heavy smoke was found on several floors of the lot but the fire was isolated to the vehicles. The fire has since been marked under control. There were no injuries or fatalities in the fire. There is no word on a cause of the fires at this time.
WTVR- TV 6 News

Friday, September 20, 2019

Virginia Board Vote Over Sprinkler Mandate Sparks Outcry From Firefighters

Plenty of new housing needs to be built in Northern Virginia over the next few decades to keep up with expected job growth, but for now some of it won't include built-in sprinkler systems. This week, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development voted against an update to the Commonwealth's construction code that would have required that sprinklers be put in all new single-family homes and townhouses. Federal law already requires most larger commercial and retail buildings have sprinkler systems. Home-builders hailed the 10-4 vote taken Monday, saying that requiring sprinklers would only throw another obstacle in the way of the new housing construction that is needed to help close what officials say is a 75,000-home gap between what's currently expected to be built across the region and what's actually needed to keep pace with estimated job growth.
WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

Caroline County lands federal grant to replace fire and rescue equipment

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded Caroline County a $904,586 grant to buy new self-contained breathing apparatus for its fire and rescue workers. SCBA is a device that provides breathable air to fire and rescue workers to us in a fire or other dangerous environment. The grant will provide most of the more than $1 million-plus needed to replace the county’s current SCBA inventory, which is nearing the end of its usefulness. The grant requires the county to provide $90,358 in matching funds. Caroline currently has 140 SCBA packs, 9 Rapid Intervention Team packs, 280 SCBA bottles and 250 SCBA masks. The county had planned to foot the entire cost of replacing the equipment through its capital improvement budget this fiscal year.

Bedford firefighters receive new equipment for training, water conservation

Firefighters in Bedford County have a new tool to help them fill their tanker trucks and train for calls in rural areas. New equipment has been installed to capture rainwater on the downspout of a building at a fire training facility on Orange Street in Bedford. Firefighters can connect to a pipe and fill their trucks with the rainwater that's been collected in an underground tank. "The water that runs into that tank would otherwise be runoff, so our creeks would have to deal with it and it might cause an erosion problem," explained Todd Kready, director of the Peaks of Otter Soil and Water Conservation District. Not only can the water be used on calls; firefighters can use the equipment for training.
WBDJ-7 Roanoke News

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