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Friday, August 6, 2010

Storms, Fires and Traumas - Busy Shift for PGFD Firefighter/Medics

Powerful storms rolled through Prince George’s County on Thursday, August 5, 2010, causing widespread power outages. At about 4:00 pm, the Oxon Hill and Fort Washington area received high winds, heavy rains and lightening as a strong storm system passed through. Fire/EMS units were dispatched to numerous calls for service that covered a wide area of destruction in Oxon Hill. Arriving units found multiple trees on homes, trees up-rooted across roadways, and numerous wires down. This created a power outage that covered a wide area. The South Lawn and Forest Heights neighborhoods seemed to have sustained the majority of damage. An adult make was transported to an area hospital for an evaluation after a tree came through the roof of his house in the 5800 block of Ottawa Street.

At about 5:00 pm a similar weather event occurred in the Upper Marlboro and Croom area leaving many without power. Firefighters from the Croom Fire/EMS Station #845 were confined to their station as a large tree and powers lines blocked their exit. Units were out of service for approximately 2 hours due to trees and live power lines down in front of the station and the surrounding areas. There were several civilians who sought safe shelter at the fire station as numerous trees down blocked the roadway. Approximately 50 children were stranded at a daycare at Fredrick Douglas High School on Croom Road not far from the station. Firefighter/Medics from Company 845 monitored the children and civilians until the storm passed and trees were removed from the roadway. There were dozens of reports of trees on homes, trees up-rooted across roadways, and numerous wires down in the area..

Firefighters worked throughout the evening in these communities ensuring all emergencies were mitigated. Firefighters from other areas of the County not affected by the storm were transferred into the Oxon Hill, Fort Washington and Upper Marlboro areas to assist handling the high number of calls. Firefighters were dispatched on nearly 300 calls for service between 4:00 pm and midnight; an average 24-hour day yields about 350 calls.

Several incidents occurred in the early morning of Friday, August 6, 2010, that kept firefighters and paramedics busy. Just after 2:00 am, a single vehicle, involved in some type of criminal activity, lost control and rolled over ejecting all four occupants on Naylor Road near Suitland Parkway in Temple Hills. The four males, 3 teen-aged and 1 in early 20’s, sustained critical traumatic injuries and were transported to area Trauma Centers.

Just after 3:00 am, firefighter/medics from the Oxon Hill area were on the road again for a reported house fire in the 7500 block of Overlook Court. Firefighters arrived to find a 2-story single family home with heavy fire showing from the second floor. There were 35 firefighters on the scene that took about 35 minutes to extinguish the fire. A family of five, 3 adults and 2 children, are displaced and were assisted by the Fire/EMS Departments Citizen Services Unit with temporary shelter. Fire loss is estimated at $150,000 and the cause of the fire is accidental and attributed to a candle. No injuries were reported.

Just one minute after the Oxon Hill house fire was dispatched, firefighters from the Largo-Kettering area were alerted to a Day Care Center on fire. At 3:10 am, firefighter/medics responded to the 900 block of Enterprise Road in Mitchellville and arrived to find a 1-story commercial structure with heavy fire showing. There were 35 firefighters that required about 30 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire at the Tender Moments Christian Daycare. Fire loss is estimated at $50,000 and the cause is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

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