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Fire Causes $48,000 Damage

Fire Department officials say improper disposal of smoking materials caused a fire Saturday afternoon at a townhouse in Centreville's Crofton Commons community. Firefighters responded around 2:50 p.m. to 14501 Chelsey Place, and first-arriving units reported smoke visible from the front of the two-story townhouse.

Conducting an aggressive attack, firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control in about 10 minutes. Officials estimate the damage at $48,000. The fire was contained to a second-floor bedroom, although rooms on both the first and second floors sustained smoke damage.

The fire displaced two adults and three children, and the Red Cross was assisting them. No one was injured. According to fire investigators, the fire was touched off accidentally when smoking materials in the second-floor bedroom were disposed of in an unsafe manner.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department warns residents to never smoke in bed and to completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, since they may smolder and cause a fire. Also keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn, such as mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture and draperies.

<sh>Come Help Rec Center Plant

<bt>The Cub Run Rec Center is building a rain garden and needs volunteers to help plant some 1,200 plants. The big dig is slated for this Saturday, Oct. 28, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the rec center on Stonecroft Boulevard, off Route 50, in Chantilly.

Volunteers should dress appropriately, wear gloves and bring shovels and trowels, if possible. The Fairfax County Park Authority will also have some shovels on hand. For more information or to volunteer, contact Charles Smith at 703-324-8555 or at charles.smith@fairfaxcounty.gov.

<sh>Turn Back Those Clocks!

<bt>Daylight Savings Time officially comes to an end this Saturday, Oct. 28, at 2 a.m. So don't forget to turn back your clocks, VCRs, watches, microwave-oven clocks, etc., one hour when you go to bed Saturday night. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds everyone to change the battery in all smoke alarms at the same time.

<sh>Animal Shelter Open House

<bt>The Fairfax County Animal Shelter will host an Open House on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 2-4 p.m., to answer citizens’ questions regarding the shelter’s component of the 2006 Public Safety Bond Referendum, which will appear on the ballot in Fairfax County this November.

Shelter leadership will be available to walk citizens through the shelter and provide information about the county’s existing, public animal-sheltering facility and operations at 4500 West Ox Road in Fairfax.

The animal shelter component of the bond comprises $17 million of the $125 million public safety bond for construction, expansion and renovation of four existing police facilities. For more information, see www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/bond.

<sh>Historic District Work Group

<bt>The final meeting of the Centreville Historic District Work group will be Monday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly.

<sh>Free Carseat Inspections

<bt>Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections, Thursday, Nov. 2, and Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 5-8:30 p.m. each day, at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd in Chantilly. They’ll make sure the carseat is correct for the child’s age, height and weight, the child is securely placed in the seat, and the seat is properly installed in the vehicle.

No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves, so the technicians may properly inspect and make adjustments, as necessary. Call the Sully District Child Seat Information line (703-814-7000, ext. 5140) to confirm dates and times. For additional child seat inspection times throughout Fairfax County, call the Fairfax County Operations Support Bureau at 703-280-0559.

<sh>Look Out, Sully Speeders

<bt>Throughout October, patrol officers from the Sully District Police Station will conduct a speed reduction, stop sign and red light campaign. “Give us a Treat. Respect our Streets” will target speeders, stop-sign and red-light runners in areas of concern served by this station, with specific emphasis on cut-through streets.

Enforcement will be emphasized on streets including: ODay Drive, Awbrey Patent Drive/Newton Patent, Sully Station Drive, Cabells Mill Road/Northbourne Drive, Green Trails Boulevard/Rock Canyon Drive, Bay Valley Lane, Singleton’s Way/Old Centreville Road, Fillingame Drive, Sully Park Drive and Sequoia Farms Drive, plus the Town of Clifton.

The effort won't be limited to these streets, but will encompass the entire Sully District. The goal is to promote compliance on residential streets with school zones and bus stops. The campaign will run during morning and evening rush hours.