Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Nicknamed the ``The Monte Carlo of America,'' the settlement featured all the ingredients for a memorable night on the town - saloons, gambling houses, bordellos, vice dens and a race track.
On July 14, 1902, flames swept a row of card parlors, as The Washington Post reported:
``Fire that originated in a policy shop last night wiped out every gambling house in Jackson City, at the Virginia end of the Long Bridge. (It) was not much of a fire when it started - a bucketful of water would have quenched it - but the habitues were so absorbed at the roulette wheel and faro table that they refused to put cut the blaze.''
District of Columbia firefighters doused the flames, the shops were repaired - and the games returned.
Fire also visited Jackson City on Nov. 30, 1893, and the next day's Washington Post said:
``Monte Carlo, the notorious resort at Jackson City, is in ashes. About 11:30 o'clock last night fire broke out in one of the row of frame buildings occupied by the free and easy, and before the flames could be checked almost the entire row was destroyed. The fire started in James Wells' one-story building on the west side of the road.''
The final fire broke out in 1904 when a band of vigilantes - ``The Good Citizens League'' - cleared out the undesirable elements and set much of Jackson City alight, according to the Arlington County Historical Society.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
On April 19, 1915, fire destroyed the roller coaster at Luna Park, a forgotten amusement park which was located in the vicinity of Glebe Road and Jefferson Davis Highway.
``The origin of the fire is thought to have been from sparks from a blaze in the woods adjoining the park,'' The Washington Post reported. `` The flames spread through the woods, destroying a considerable section. No estimate was placed on the loss.
``The fact that the structure destroyed was isolated from others of the park and the wind blowing away from them in all probability prevented the destruction of every building on the grounds,'' the Post reported.
According to a history of Arlington County, posted on the county's web site:
``This amusement park, located in the area where Glebe Road meets Route 1, was built in 1906 for more than $350,000. It claimed facilities for 3,000 picnickers as well as a large ballroom, restaurant and circus arena.
``Exhibits were housed in large buildings of various styles -- Gothic, Moorish, and Japanese. A 'shoot-the-chutes' with a 350-foot incline was a leading attraction. The park was eventually damaged by fire and dismantled in 1915.''
At that time, the closest fire stations were located in the City of Alexandria and the District of Columbia.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Clarendon was the scene of a general alarm fire in September 1924.
``Fire yesterday afternoon in the home of Miss A.L. McCoy, 307 Popular avenue, Clarendon, caused a loss of $3,000,'' The Washington Post reported on Sept. 13 of that year.
``Fire companies irom Cherrydale, Ballston, Arlington and Clarendon found the roof in flames and seeing several frame houses close by in danger, a second alarm was sounded, bringing out all the apparatus in Arlington County,'' the newspaper said.
- The Washington Post
Sept. 26, 1923
Friday, May 08, 2009
FIREMEN AID IN ROSSLYN
Engine and Hose Wagon Sent to Fight Blaze Across River.
Late yesterday Afternoon Engine Company, No. 5, and the hose wagon of Truck Company, No. 5, went to Rosslyn, Va., on orders of Chief Wagner for a fire of undetermined origin in a two-story stable owned and occupied by W.O. Pickett.
In days of old, the District of Columbia Fire Department sometimes made runs into Rosslyn, just across the Potomac River from Georgetown via the old Aquaduct Bridge. Chief Frank J. Wagner (mentioned in the newspaper excerpt) was chief of the D.C. Fire Department from December 1908 to September 1920.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Photo: Fox TV web site
On April 26, 2009, firefighters from the District of Columbia and Arlington County scoured the Potomac River between Chain Bridge and Key Bridge for an 11-year-old boy who fell into the river south of Chain Bridge. His body was found more than a week later. He had been fishing from the shore. D.C. Fireboat No. 2 is pictured above. The body of a fisherman, who was reported missing by his family after he failed to return home, was also located several days later. He jumped into the Potomac to rescue the boy, police said.
Monday, April 13, 2009
These are images of a high-rise apartment fire at 2111 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City in February 1979 as photographed by Larry Patterson, who served as a fire department volunteer.
Firefighters said the blaze looked like a ``towering inferno'' and had the intensity of a ``blowtorch.''
Lt. John Walker, of Truck 79, suffered severe respiratory injuries that ultimately led to his retirement. Patterson said Walker may be the firefighter on the hoseline in the top photo. Several other firefighters suffered lesser injuries.
``We were fighting a losing battle,'' said Assistant Fire Chief John Spink, quoted by The Washington Post.
For 90 minutes, crews struggled against the flames.
CLICK on newspaper images to read Washington Post report
Retired Fire Capt. Howard Piansky was one of the first firefighters to arrive at the blaze and provided this account of the incident:
``I was the wagon driver for 5A and we were of course first in ... The engine pulled up with nothing showing and the crew composed of Captain Rahner and firefighters Piansky, Tabscott and Cooper, with McPherson and Orgel on Rescue 5. McPherson came running into the lobby after the engine company and reported fire showing.
``Hooking up to the standpipe, the crew proceeded towards the apartment on fire when the evacuation alarm sounded, bringing scores of people out into the heavy, down-to-the-knees smoke. (That) caused us to abandon extingushment and make numerous rescues. Several crew members were injured ... and a flashover in the hallway had a least one medic thrown down the stairs.''
Monday, March 02, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
On Jan. 15, 1953, the Arlington County Fire Department made one of its most dramatic mutual aid runs into Washington, D.C.
The Pennsylvania Railroad's "Federal Express" - packed people with headed to the nation's capital for the inauguration of President Eisenhower - crashed into Union Station after its brakes failed.
The District of Columbia Fire Department summoned assistance from Arlington County and other communities to help with the casualties.
Miraculously, there were no fatalities aboard the train or inside the terminal, which was evacuated moments before impact.
On Jan. 6, 2009, Arlington County firefighters rescued 16 people from the windows of a burning apartment building near Rosslyn. There were a number of injuries and several victims required hospitalization .
At least two others jumped, according to news reports, and witnesses said a child was dropped or passed from a window before firefighters arrived at the two-alarm blaze. Engine 103's crew carried an unconscious man from the building.
The fire, which was reported at 4:47 a.m., started in the basement storage room of the three-story building in the 1500-block of Fairfax Drive. Firefighters from Fort Myer and Fairfax County, as well as paramedics from the City of Alexandria, were also dispatched with the crews from Arlington County.
Battalion Chief Benjamin Barksdale, quoted by Channel 7, said residents ``couldn't make it down the main entrance - all the smoke from the basement had been pouring out into the stairwell. … There was no way they could have come down the stairs.''
The evening before, many of the same firefighters attended a two-alarm blaze that gutted a townhouse at 1180 North Vermont Street near Ballston.