'Suspicious Substance' in McLean

'Suspicious Substance' in McLean

No one was harmed when an unidentified substance was found on an envelope.

Fairfax County emergency service providers were called to Ashby at McLean, an apartment community at 1350 Beverly Road, Friday afternoon after a fifth-floor resident allegedly received an envelope containing an unknown substance.

"Two occupants of a residence were exposed to the substance and took the proper precautions of washing their hands," said Lt. Raul Castillo, public information officer with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. "The envelope was given to the FBI and transported to their lab for analysis. The building was cleared until the envelope was removed, and everyone was allowed to return. The residence where the envelope was opened was sealed," Castillo said.

"The resident called the police department directly," said Jeff Lawson, director of residential management at Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the Ashby at McLean. "We were told to shut off the ventilation system when they arrived, and at about 4 p.m. on Friday they gave us the OK to turn it back on. We sent a letter out to our residents letting them know the fire department came out because of a suspicious package and that after it had been investigated, it appeared to be harmless," Lawson said.

The residents that had been exposed to the substance were evaluated at the Ashby but were not transported to a hospital, Castillo said, and the results of the FBI analysis on the substance, first said to be a white powder, may be in later this week.

Fairfax County police had initially been called to the residence, but the call was handled by a HAZMAT team and the fire department, said Bud Walker, a public information officer for the Fairfax County Police Department.