News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Not a Great Day at Northgate

Think you had a bad day yesterday? Confidential Restonian Operative "Pedro" shared what was, by all accounts, a pretty crappy day at Northgate:

6:30 AM the power goes out. The power distribution panel that feeds power to at least 1/4th of the condo complex caught on fire.

An hour or so later they realize that the power lines buried under the sidewalks were destroyed. They would need to tear the sidewalks to chase the cabling down until it was intact so they could do a clean splice.

Less than an hour later all hell breaks loose. I look outside and I see firemen hauling a gurney, I thought one of the power company workers got zapped so I hurried outside, camera in hand.

Basically I walked into a firemen's convention. I counted four battalion vehicles, at least two ladders, one ambulance, one rescue truck, at least three pump trucks.

Why? The attic caught on fire. And that fire was on the building next to mine. The firemen stuck around until late in the afternoon and the workers finally started to dig out the bad cable with a small backhoe. The condo association put out a memo explaining that a generator was on the way and that they were trying to work as fast as they could to restore power.

It still took until close to 11 PM for the power to come back, and I can't tell it is because they fixed the cabling (highly doubt it) or that the generator is muffled so well that I can't hear it from here.

As far as I can tell, no injuries and the property damage seems to be limited to the attic of that one building. I did see the condo maintenance folks haul out an F-150 full of glad bags with what is probably what was left from the insulation up there. 


  1. Hmmmm...Does this mean that Northgate is not a "stable neighborhood"--old and rundown--and should be redeveloped, and with much greater density??

    1. If Northgate has a single owner, then most likely, yes, from my understanding of Phase 2 of the Master Plan.

  2. Shadowood is another good candidate for redevelopment!

    1. I thought that once upon a time too but then learned that because those are condominiums, they have individual owners so it is much harder for a buyout.

    2. Too bad some of those owners is the county itself. It will never happen then.


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