Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Friday, December 17, 2010


On a foggy evening in 1949, a Capital Airlines DC-3 crashed in the Potomac River as it attempted to land at National Airport from the north. Four people died, including the pilot and co-pilot of Flight 500. Sixteen others survived the Dec. 12 crash. Firefighters on the Virginia side of the river could hear their calls for help. Boats from Bolling Air Force Base in Washington located the wreckage and rescued the victims. The Civil Aeronautics Board concluded "the probable cause of this accident was the stalling of the aircraft."

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Aug. 8, 1960
Courtesy of the Falls Church VFD

Monday, November 15, 2010


Photo: Episcopal Cafe

On Oct. 22, 2010, Arlington County sent mutual aid to a two-alarm fire that destroyed the chapel at the Virginia Theological Seminary in the City of Alexandria.

The chapel was built in 1881 and used for daily worship. The cause of the fire was ruled accidental. There were no injuries.

“Because of the safe and effective firefighting operations by Alexandria and our partner jurisdictions, we were able to save the adjacent historic structures as well as a number of irreplaceable religious artifacts,” said Adam Thiel, chief of the Alexandria Fire Department, in a press release.

The initial alarm was received at 3:49 p.m.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Photo: ARL Now web site
On Aug. 29, 2010, the New York City Fire Department presented the Arlington County Fire Department with a steel girder from the ruins of the World Trade Center to commemorate the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The ceremony was held at Fire Station No. 5 in Crystal City, the nearest county fire station to the Pentagon.


Photos: WTOP
On Sept. 18, 2010, firefighters from across the Washington region participated in an emergency exercise at Washington National Airport.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010



Wagon 5 - a 1948 American LaFrance - at the old Jefferson District firehouse. (Crystal City)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Arlington County Fire Department command unit

Vehicle specifications for Arlington County Fire Department command unit, manufacturered by E-One.

Body Model: Rescue/SpecialtyBody
Material: aluminum
Cab Make/Model: Spartan Gladiator E/R#
Cab Seats: 2
Engine Brand/Model/Horsepower: Cummins ISC 350
Transmission Brand/Model: Allison MD 3066P
Generator Make/Capactiy: Onan 35kw PTO, Powertech 20 kw Diesel

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


House Fire - 2009
North Lexington Street

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


On April 24, 2010, the Arlington County Board voted to restore $1.5 million to the county budget - allowing the fire department to continue to operate two heavy rescue companies, according to The Washington Post.

Monday, April 12, 2010


"It is with great sadness, I announce the passing of FRANK R. HIGGINS. Frank passed away April 9, 2010. Frank served the Arlington County Fire Department as a firefighter, the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Department as an Officer and Past President."

Charles Satterfield, President
Clarendon Volunteer Fire Department

Friday, March 05, 2010


On March 4, 2010, the Arlington County Fire Department responded to a shooting at the Pentagon that injured two police officers and led to the fatal wounding of the gunman. Engines 105 and 110, Truck 105, Medics 105, 101 and 110, Battalion 111 and EMS 111 were assigned to the call.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

FORT MYER - 1918

Scene at U.S. Army's Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, in 1918.


Photos: Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department
On Nov. 6, 1960, firefighters from Falls Church and Fairfax County battled a fire at the S&H Green Stamps Store on Hillwood Avenue in Falls Church. One man was injured. The fire companies names in the original caption are No. 6 Falls Church, No. 18 Jefferson and No. 10 Bailey's Crossroads.


Photo: Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department
Arlington County Fire Department training bureau van at shopping center on Columbia Pike in 1986.


FLASHBACK - Knickerbocker Storm of January 1922. Theater collapse killed 98 people in Washington, D.C.

Ready to roll for blizzard duty. Apparatus floor at Arlington County Station 106 in Falls Church, including National Guard wrecker at center and the volunteer's venerable Light & Air 103 in the foreground. Also in photo - Truck 106, volunteer ambulance and rescue company.

Apparatus floor at Fairfax County Station 410 in Bailey's Crossroads after roof collapse on Feb. 8, 2010. There were no injuries. The structure gave way at 3 a.m. while the platoon was in the bunk room. Station 410 covers parts of Arlington.

The Washington area was pounded by back-to-back winter storms between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11, 2010, forcing the closure of the federal government, airports, schools and businesses. Commercial power and mass transit were also disrupted.

The snowfall set a seasonal record of 54.9 inches of snow at National Airport in Arlington, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters compared the snow to the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, which caused the collapse of a Washington movie house called Crandall's Knickerbocker Theater. That catastrophe killed 98 people and injured 133 others.

During the Blizzard of 2010, the emergency services operated in hazardous conditions, and the National Guard loaned a heavy-duty wrecker to the Arlington County Fire Department. The giant vehicle was assigned to Fire Station 106 in Falls Church.

On Feb. 8, the snowfall caused the collapse of the roof over the apparatus bay of Fire Station 410 in Bailey's Crossroads in Fairfax County. There were no injuries. The structure gave way at 3 a.m. while the platoon was in the bunk room.

According to the Fairfax County Fire Department: "Firefighters were alerted by a loud screeching noise in the apparatus bay. A fire engine, ladder truck, three EMS units, and a utility truck were all extensively damaged. Several personally owned vehicles parked next to the station were totaled."

The Bailey's Crossroads firehouse, which provides service to parts of Arlington County, was built in 1974 and the roof was replaced in 1998.

Fire stations in Annandale and Alexandria also sustained roof damage, according to news reports.

  • BLIZZARD ALERT! Keep neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow and ice - and easily visible to firefighters in the event of a fire. Adopt a fire plug!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Photo: Photography on the Net
Truck 105 and Engine 105 at Crystal City, Virginia

FOAM 161

Photo: IAFF Local F-253
Foam 161 of the Fort Myer Fire Department is a 2001 E-ONE TITAN. It replaced the foam wagon destroyed at the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Foam 161 is assigned to cover the Pentagon fire station.

1000 Gallon Tank
200 Gallon Foam
500 lbs. of Purple K
1500 GPM
Roof and Bumper Turrets
100' Hose Reel (Water, Foam, Purple K)

FLEET - 1960

Fire department fleet at drill school in 1960.


Operations Chief Scott McKay, a veteran of the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11, 2001 who also led a team of firefighters during the Hurricane Katrina recovery along the Gulf Coast, retired in January 2009. In his farewell message, he wrote: "I wanted to express my gratitude and admiration to all of you. Working alongside some of the finest people I have ever met, this has been one hell of a ride. This fire department has come a long way since I joined in 1980. The level of professionalism at all levels of the organization is what makes this a great place to work."