Prince George’s County Firefighters battled a fire involving a piece of their own fire apparatus this morning, Monday, August 3, 2009. A 2001 Seagrave Engine on assignment to the Boulevard Heights Fire/EMS Station #817 caught fire while parked inside the station. According to a Fire Investigative report; Boulevard Heights Firefighters were returning to their fire station after clearing a call while on-board this engine at about 1:46 AM. They detected an odor of smoke and further investigated the smoke odor upon parking the engine inside the station. Thick black smoke started coming from the engine compartment and additional fire apparatus was called to the scene. There was a sprinkler activation which contained the fire and the engine compartment fire was completely extinguished by firefighters at around 2:30 AM. There is an estimated fire loss to the firehouse of about $7,000, mostly involving the ceiling tiles of the engine room. No injuries were reported and Fire Investigators believe the cause of the fire is accidental
According to times recorded in the computer aided dispatch system the initial call came into Public Safety Communications from an alarm monitoring company reporting a general fire alarm at the fire station at 1:57 AM. This incident was subsequently cancelled by the Boulevard Heights Volunteer Deputy Chief at 1:58 AM. At 2:04 AM personnel from Boulevard Heights requested assistance for another pumper, which was immediately dispatched, to assist with extinguishing an engine compartment fire on the unit. Prior to the back-up engine arriving, additional units were requested and a full box assignment (7 or more pieces of fire/EMS apparatus and incident commanders) was dispatched at 2:05 AM. Fire/EMS units started to arrive at the scene at about 2:12 AM. The fire was extinguished at around 2:30 AM.
The fire apparatus involved is a 2001 Seagrave Engine purchased by Prince George’s County in November 2001 for $280,000. This unit is normally assigned to the Chapel Oaks Fire/EMS Station and has approximately 46,000 miles on the odometer and was on temporary assignment to Boulevard Heights while both of their engines are out of service for repairs. Personnel from the Fire/EMS Departments Apparatus Maintenance Division estimate damage at $75,000; mostly attributed to a damaged engine and electrical systems. While the cause of the fire is believed to accidental, the exact ignition is undetermined.