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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BOWIE FIREFIGHTER REMAINS IN BURN UNIT AFTER SATURDAY HOUSE FIRE

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

A 26-year-old Bowie Volunteer Firefighter remains hospitalized after sustaining burn injuries battling a house fire on Saturday. Firefighters from Largo, Bowie and surrounding communities responded to the fire on Saturday, September 4, 2010, just before 7:30 pm. Fire/EMS units arrived at the 2-story single family home in the 1000 block of Whistling Duck Way in Upper Marlboro to find heavy fire consuming the rear of the structure with extension up to and through the roof.


Firefighters entered the structure and advanced hoselines to conduct a search and extinguish the fire. As a team of firefighters were advancing a hoseline up the stairs to attack the fire on the second floor the helmet of Fire Fighter Patrick Ivey was dislodged and knocked off. As he worked to put his helmet back in place debris fell from the ceiling striking him in the head. Fire Fighter Ivey replaced his helmet on his head and continued up the stairs with a hoseline. After several minutes of an interior attack and confirmation there were no occupants inside the home the fire continued to grown in intensity despite efforts of firefighters. Incident Commanders ordered all firefighters to evacuate the structure and fight the fire from the safety of the exterior.

Once outside, Fire Fighter Ivey removed his protective gear and was treated for burns on his head. In the short period of time that his helmet was knocked off, hot embers, or more then likely, some molten aluminum or metal came in contact with his head. The burning debris was so hot that Ivey sustained 3rd degree burns through the protective Nomex hood he was wearing. He was transported to the Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center where he remains today awaiting surgery.

Firefighter Ivey was diagnosed with 3rd degree burns to his right side forward temporal area and to his right side scalp area approximately 3 inches above his right ear. Both burn areas were approximately 1 ¼ - 2” in diameter; about the size of a half-dollar coin. He will be undergoing his first surgery tomorrow at the Burn Center where Doctors will be debriding the burns on his head and scalp and then most likely will proceed to work on the burn near his temporal lobe with a grafting procedure. He will ultimately need some cosmetic surgery as well after the healing process begins.

Bowie Volunteer Chief Lee Havens stated that Patrick is in good spirits and is in the constant company of fellow Bowie Firefighters. He was visited by County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones over the weekend and Acting Lt. Col. Steve Hess today.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 45 minutes by 40 firefighters with the fire being completely extinguished about 60 minutes later. The fire appears to have started on a rear deck and extended up the rear wall and into the second floor and attic. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $290,000. The Fire/EMS Department assisted the six displaced occupants, 3 adults and 3 children, with temporary shelter.

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