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Fairfax, VA 22031

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Timberlane Fire
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July 25, 2005
Timberlane Fire

Mr. Chairman,

On Sunday July 3, 2005, Fairfax County Fire Department responded to a four-alarm fire that was in progress at the Timberlane Village Garden Condominiums located on Lee Highway. Firefighters saw fire visible from the front and sides of the condominiums on several floors and were able to bring this fire under control in about 50 minutes. Furthermore, investigations yielded that the fire was an accident that stemmed from a natural-gas furnace located on the third floor. Of the 100 residents, living at Timberlane, dozens of residents were displaced and one resident was hospitalized due to serious burns.

I have recounted some facts that invoke some thought and sadness in most of us. I would now like to talk about some of the perseverance and resilience of the human spirit - the hero in us. Some of the heroes in this unfortunate incident lost much and some of them stepped up and offered a hand of humanity. They are the following:

  • Mr. Rajesh Thanju, who heard an explosion, called 911, and then proceeded to knock on his neighbor's doors, and finally, yelling from the courtyard for his neighbors to get out of their homes and to safety. Mr. and Mrs. Islam who had recently renovated their home that burnt down.
  • Mr. Bob Anderson who came to my office to use the telephone and left with a handful of "222 - Need Help?" flyer to be distributed to others.
  • The Timber Lane Elementary School and the PTA who set up temporary shelter at the school for families with children.
  • The Red Cross and our own Systems Management for Human Services.
  • Faith based community and leaders in the community who set up a discussion table together with some of the folks already mentioned, who came up with further solutions.
  • And last but not least, the Fire Departments that responded from the following localities: Fairfax and Arlington County, City of Alexandria and Fairfax City.

Mr. Chairman, I would therefore ask for the Board's unanimous support in asking the heroes of the Timberlane Fire to come before the Board to be honored and be recognized for their spirit of perseverance and resilience at the September 12, 2005 meeting.




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