Fairfax Co. crews contain flames on Woodson High School campus

(Video courtesy Joanne Richcreek)

Freezing conditions added to Fairfax County crews’ challenges of containing a large building fire on W.T. Woodson High School’s campus that firefighters fought for hours before largely extinguishing the flames around 8 a.m.

Firefighters were called to the Fairfax, Virginia, high school around 3 a.m. Sunday after smoke was seen billowing from an administrative building facing Main Street.

The fire lasted through the morning hours and around 8 a.m. was largely under control, except for a couple of “hot spots” that crews continued to spray. Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Bill Betz told WTOP’s Luke Lukert that part of the roof and an outside wall collapsed.

Temperatures in the teens Sunday morning added challenges in fighting the fire as water spewed to subdue the burning building spilled out onto the streets and made slick spots, a spokesperson told WTOP’s Luke Lukert.

There are no signs of foul play and the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, Betz said.

An update from the fire department said they believe the building was vacant when they arrived to the scene and that no one was hurt.

Images shared with WTOP showed engines responding to a single-story building near the corner of Pickett Road and Main Street, detached from the rest of the school.

Lukert reported he heard the sound of chain saws being used to cut out parts of the roof where smoke was emitting.

A spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire Department confirmed the fire was not located within the main school building.

A second alarm was called to bring in additional resources; crews were ordered out of the building for fear of collapse, and continued fighting the flames from the outside.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez and Luke Garrett contributed to this report.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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