Two workers freed
from collapsed trench

Two workers were freed Thursday evening after being trapped in a trench 15 to 20 feet deep in Potomac for nearly three hours after a wall collapsed on them, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.

The men were being evaluated by EMS workers, fire spokesman Pete Piringer tweeted.

Fifty to 60 rescue workers were involved in the effort, which required securing the trench to make it safe for rescuers as well as digging the men out.

The incident occurred at a house in the 10900 block of Martingale Court, Piringer said. The men, along with two additional crew members, had been working on a project that involved accessing the foundation of a large house.

— Julie Zauzmer

Playground blaze
under investigation

A Germantown playground was heavily damaged Wednesday night in what the Montgomery County fire department suspects is an act of arson.

Neighbors called about 9 p.m. to report that the playground was on fire, county fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. When firefighters arrived, they found thick black smoke and “pretty impressive flames.”

The rubberized playing surface, slides and climbing bars were destroyed, Piringer said. The playground cost about $150,000 to build, he said, and replacing the ruined equipment will cost more than $100,000.

— Julie Zauzmer

Six-year sentence
in embezzlement case

A Fairfax County lawyer was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for embezzling nearly $500,000 while he was entrusted to care for an elderly woman and her estate, according to the Virginia attorney general’s office.

James G. Kincheloe Jr., 67, who lives in Fauquier County, was convicted of a single count of embezzlement in the case in Fairfax County Circuit court in July. Kincheloe entered an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.

Fairfax County Judge Jane M. Roush ruled that Kincheloe will have to repay more than $483,000 to the estate of Pearl Buckley, a Fairfax City resident who died in 2009 at age 90. A separate civil suit filed by her relatives said that almost $900,000 was taken from Buckley.

At the time of her death, Buckley was legally blind and had dementia.

— Justin Jouvenal