Frigid temperatures once again invaded the Leesburg area on Tuesday, January 28th. Crew 1 was barely on duty when a call for an odor of natural gas at a school in the 800 block of North King Street. Since Engine 601 and our career staff was still out on a fuel leak, so the volunteers of Crew 1 responded in Tanker 601 and Truck 601 to the school. After a lenghthy investigation, the odor was traced to the roof area. With no hazards present, the situation was turned over to school maintenance personnel.
On the way back to the station, units were dispatched for another gas leak, this time at a church in the 10 block of Church Street, NE. Tanker 601, Truck 601, and Deputy Chief 601 (Kreuger) all responded from Company 1. DC 601 had the command while units checked the facility thoroughly for the source of the odor. Once it was located, malfunctioning equipment was secured and units returned to service. Back at the station, Lt. Tome was waiting to teach a CPR refresher class. Crews grabbed a quick dinner and settled in for the exciting educational experience. That experience was cut short as a third gas leak call was dispatched, this time in the 43000 block of Spanish Bay Court in River Creek.
This time it was Engine 601, Truck 601 and D/C 601 from Leesburg on the call, along with Engine 622 from Ashburn. After a quick investigation, the call was scaled back to Company 1 units. A gas appliance had been left on accidentally, so crews ventilated the structure, then returned to quarters to complete the CPR class. Who knows what the rest of the night will bring?
Photos courtesy of Master Firefighter Ian Buchanan.
The Polar Vortex that Loudoun County recently experienced left many commercial and residential buildings with damage from broken water pipes. Leesburg residents weren't spared. At approximately 2120 hours on 1/7/14, a box alarm was struck for a reported structure fire in the 700 block of Hunton Place. The caller reported a broken water pipe with smoke coming from the garage, resulting in the dispatch of a house fire assignment. Crew 4's engine crew was at at Station 1 for their annual fit testing, so they arrived just after Engine 622. Truck 601 was first on the scene. After a quick investigation, it was determined that the smoke was actually steam from the hot water spraying from the broken pipe. Units quickly cleared the scene and returned to Station 1 to complete testing.
Photos courtesy of Master Firefighter Ian Buchanan.
...for broken water pipes!
With the recent extreme cold snap, frozen water pipes are becoming a significant risk for Loudoun residents. Every year, fire companies across the area run numerous calls for burst pipes, usually as a result of extreme cold weather. By the time a homeowner or business person is calling the fire department, most of the damage is already done. Here's how you can minimize your chances of being affected:
If you open a tap and no water comes out, there's a good chance your pipes have frozen. NEVER use open flame to try to thaw pipes. If you think something is frozen, find your main water valve and turn it off. A pipe that is frozen solid doesn't leak, but once things warm up and water starts flowing, water will be everywhere! Securing the water supply at the first sign of trouble can save you a lot of water damage. With the water off, you should consider contacting a plumber for help. They should be able to figure out where the frozen line is, get it thawed for you, and check your water system for damage. A single service call will be MUCH cheaper than having a burst pipe leaking inside your home.
If prevention doesn't work and you find water leaking, immediately turn off your water. If you think the water is getting into electrical equipment, find your electrical panel and turn off electricity to your home. (If your electrical service panel is affected by the water leak, or there is water on the floor near the panel, DO NOT operate any of the breakers. Call either a qualified electrician or 911, depending on the severity of the hazard.)
As with all things safety related, prevention is the key. Know where your water valves are located, know how to operate them, drain and turn off your exterior water spigots, and know the location of all your electrical service panels. Keep the numbers for your plumber and electrician handy so you can call quickly when you need them. If in doubt, call 911 and your local fire company will assist you.
On Saturday, December 21st at approximately 1923 hours, a box alarm was struck for a reported house fire in the 1100 block of Janney Street, SW. Company 1 units on the dispatch were Engine 601, Truck 601 and Captain 601 (Hilton). Truck 1 arrived first and found the results of a flash fire that had resulted in significant injuries to one person on the scene. The fire was out, but the patient was flown to a local trauma center from Leesburg Executive Airport. Units from Company 1 were clear in less than an hour.
Later on in the evening, a fire on Dairy Lane in the Broad Run Farms section of Sterling resulted in the dispatch of Company 1 units. Just before midnight, Sterling units arrived on the scene of a well-involved house fire and requested a Level 1 RIT dispatch. Truck 601 was part of that assignment. At approximately 0013 hours Sunday, Tanker 601 was dispatched to assist with rural water supply operations on the same incident. Both units arrived and remained on the scene for approximately 4 hours. (Photo from the courtesy of FF Ryan Boehret.)
No injuries resulted from the second fire. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's office investigated and found the fire to be accidental in nature. They estimated the damages to be 350,000 dollars.
Most residents of Company 1's first due service area should have received flyers for our annual fund raising campaign. This effort provides critical funding needed to help continue our tradition of service to Leesburg and the surrounding communities.
We urge everyone in our service area to make as generous a contribution as they can. As mentioned in the flyer, we continue to grow our membership base in order to serve you better. Between our modernized fleet of vehicles and the costs associated with outfitting new firefighters, we need your financial support.
Thank you for your past generosity. We hope you'll continue to support us through your tax-deductible donation during our annual campaign.
Crew 4 had an active night on Friday, November 8th, responding to a total of four incidents. They started the night with a fire alarm, followed at around 2135 hours for a reported structure fire in the 700 block of Fieldstone Drive. After a brief investigation, the source of the "smoke" proved to be steam from a dryer vent. Not long after units were in quarters after that call, a Chimney Fire was dispatched in the 600 block of Country Club Drive in the Southwest quadrant of town. Engine, Truck and Deputy Chief 601 were all dispatched to the call, along with Engine 605-B and Ambulance 613-E.
Truck 601 arrived on scene first, advising he had a two story single family dwelling with fire and sparks visible from the chimney on Side Bravo. D/C 601 arrived next and established "Country Club Drive Command" at Command 601, located in front of the truck. Engine 601, led by Lt. Montieth, arrived next and laid a supply line from a hydrant about 250 feet prior to the dispatched address. The truck crew, led by Capt. Fazekas, entered the structure and checked the fire box of the chimney, then proceeded upstairs to check for extension in the upper floors and the attic. Both were clear. Engine 601's crew extinguished the fire in the fire box.
Engine 605-B arrived and picked up E601's line at the hydrant, while the crew proceeded to the fire ground to ladder the roof. A chimney cap was removed and a coordinated extinguishment was initiated between the interior and roof crews. Eventually, a chimney bomb was dropped from the roof to fully extinguish any remaining fire. Crews checked for interior extension a second time; finding none, the incident was declared stable. Command was terminated and units began picking up equipment to return to service. No injuries occurred and the residents were allowed to return to the structure.
Photos courtesy of A613-E.
Just after 1900 hours on Thursday, November 7th a box alarm was struck for a structure fire in a fast food restaurant in Sterling. Deputy Chief 601 (Buchanan) was part of the initial assignment, along with Battalion 603. As the first units marked on scene reporting heavy smoke conditions, D/C 601 requested a Level 1 RIT assignment be added, adding Truck 601 as the second Leesburg unit on the call. Captain 611 marked up and was the first arriving command officer. Command was transferred to him from Engine 618. D/C 601 was the next command officer to arrive and was assigned "Division Alpha". Battalion 603 was assigned interior.
The fire was unusual in that it was inside the wall on the Delta side of structure. Accessing the fire to extinguish it required significant effort. Once the bulk of the fire was extinguished and assessments could be made of the fire's extension, command scaled the incident back, returning several units to service. Remaining units opened up exterior walls to ensure there was no further extension and that extinguishment was complete. Once operations were complete, command was terminated and units returned to service. D/C 601 was back in Leesburg by 2130 hours.
See the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company's website for more details.
When a crew has a long spell with no calls, the crew members start looking for the cause of the inactivity. Usually, someone gets singled out and labeled the "white cloud", suggesting that they're responsible for the tranquility. On Crew 1, we thought we'd figured out who our white cloud was (cough, cough, Gilly, cough), but all of a sudden, he's been at the station and we've run two fires in successive weeks. The latest near-miss was in Lucketts on Tuesday, November 5th. Truck and Engine 601 had travelled East to Wegman's for dinner. Before the engine crew could even get out of the pumper, we were dispatched to Gemstone Court for a fire alarm. After clearing that call, we decided we'd remain on the Western side of town and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Roy's.
As we were leaving the parking lot, our MDC chirped and showed that we'd been dispatched to a house fire on James Monroe Highway in Lucketts. From our position on King Street, it was a straight shot north on Route 15. Engine 601, led by D/C Buchanan, arrived in the second position. Our driver positioned to allow for drafting operations should they become necessary and the rest of the crew proceeded to the 2nd floor to meet up with Command (Engine 610's officer) in the attic. Engine 601 was asked to ventilate the roof if it could be done without major damage. An extension ladder was thrown on Side Bravo and personnel proceeded to the roof. Since the roof was a hip style, there were no gables to provide easy ventilation, so a roof cut would be the only option. Once Battalion 602 arrived and took over command, Engine 601 advised him of the situation and it was decided a roof cut would not be necessary. Captain 601 (Hilton) assisted Command by taking Division Charlie.
Company 1 personnel on Side Alpha, waiting an assignment from Command.
Truck 601, led by Lt. Wilson arrived as the first Special Service. Due to power lines on the roadside, the aerial device could not be used, but ground ladders were made readily available should they be needed. Meanwhile, interior crews got a knock on a smoldering attic fire and overhaul began. Truck 601 assisted with creating water chutes to reduce damage from water coming through the ceiling from the attic space. Property was moved out of the water's path, greatly reducing damage. Company 1 units remained on the scene for about an hour assisting with salvage and overhaul. Once those evolution were complete, units picked up equipment and returned in service.
The fire is under investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office. No injuries occurred on the call, but a family was temporarily displaced. The American Red Cross assisted with housing the family. (Photos courtesy of E601's D/O Shawn Reynolds)
Route 15 was closed in front of the incident scene.
October continues to be an eventful month for the Leesburg VFC. As the month neared its end, Crew 1's number came up on Wednesday, October 30th. The night started with a an EMS call for Engine 620. This call resulted in a flyout to a local trauma center. While the engine was out, Truck 601 was sent to the 60 block of Catoctin Circle NE for an EMS assist. Once back at the station, units were able to find a bit of time to grab dinner, then back to the station for a couple of drills. While practicing ropes and knots in the apparatus bays, a box alarm appeared on our CAD displays.
The call, dispatched at around 2123 hours, was for a house fire in the 900 block of Santmyer Driver, SE. Battalion 601 was in the area and arrived first, advising there was a small fire in the garage. He established "Santmyer Drive Command" and was assisted by Captain 601 (Krueger) who had Division Alpha. Engine 620 arrived and laid a line from a hydrant several houses down from the dispatched address. Truck 601 took a position on Side A. Engine 620's crew, led by D/C Buchanan, pulled a 200' 1 3/4 line and proceeded to the structure. The garage door was partially open, so crews knocked down visible fire then accessed the garage from the interior.
Truck 601, led by Lt. Wilson, made a primary search of the structure, opening windows as they went for ventilation. They encountered moderate smoke conditions on the first floor. Primary search was negative, so the truck's crew met up with the engine's crew in the garage to assist with opening up. Engine 622B checked for extension on the interior, opening up a couple of small inspection holes. They found some charred structural members near the ceiling of the garage and applied water from a pressurized water extinguisher.
Once the fire was out, the scene was turned over to the Fire Marshal for investigation. Once that was complete, units returned to salvage and overhaul, removing contents and damaged property. The scene was then turned back to the homeowner. No injuries occurred on the call. Cause of the fire is under investigation with the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's office.
Photos courtesy of FF John Papaleo, aka "Photo 601-Charlie".
View of Side Alpha from the truck's perspective
Engine and Truck 601 pulling drywall from the garage ceiling
Command Post with BC 601 (Chief Cook, LVFC)
Personnel taking a little breather while the FM investigates.
Finishing the overhaul.
The aftermath...remaining materials were removed before units cleared.
Subject: 210th Anniversary of the Fire Company
The Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company is beginning a yearlong celebration of 210 years of service. To commemorate the Fire Company’s early roots, antique fire apparatus (a turn-of-the-century hand-drawn hose cart and a 1929 Seagrave pumper) will be featured in the Town’s Fourth of July Parade. The hose cart is similar to those used by the Fire Company from the early 1800’s all the way up to 1925, when the first motorized fire truck was purchased by the Town of Leesburg. The 1929 Seagrave is the first fire truck purchased by the Fire Company and restored to almost original condition.
The Fire Company recently discovered documents in the County Archives that confirm the original incorporation was on November 15th, 1803, almost 210 years ago. Since the opportunity to celebrate 200 years has been missed, the Fire Company is celebrating its “bicentennial plus ten”.
A Gala event will be held on November 16th, 2013 to officially begin the 210th celebration and to recognize the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company as the 6th oldest fire company in Virginia. The celebration will continue through the following year and include presentations to the Town, historical features and another large event next summer.
For some interesting historical information about the origins of the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company, visit our history page.
In conjunction with our annual mail fund drive, we're kicking off a recruitment event as well. We hope you'll consider joining the ranks of the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company as either an operational firefighting member or by playing a critical role as an administrative member. Were looking for great people to help us continue the tradition of neighbor helping neighbor in the community we love.
As a firefighter, you'll receive free training to gain certifications in fire suppression, emergency medical services, and hazardous materials to name a few. Training courses are offered at the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue training facility off Sycolin Road on evenings and weekends. If you've always had the dream of becoming a firefighter, we'd love to talk to you!
Maybe crawling around on your hands and knees in a smoke-filled environment isn't for you. That's okay with us; we need members to help us with administration, fundraising, public outreach, hall rental, special events, and fire ground support roles such as our canteen unit.
To get started on an amazing journey, just click here to go to our membership application page and fill out a brief online form. Submitted applications are received by our membership committee who will contact you within a day or two. Thank you for your interest and we look forward to meeting you soon.
Send any questions or comments about our operations or website to
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