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Monday, September 13, 2010

Off-Duty Fire Captain Credited with Saving 2 Occupants from House Fire

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain James Jiron

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

An off-duty member of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is being credited with preventing injuries and, perhaps, saving lives, over the weekend in Woodstock, Va. Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain James Jiron entered a burning home, alerted and removed 2 occupants unaware that their home was on fire. The Press Release from the Shenandoah County VA Department of Fire and Rescue reads:

Shenandoah County

Department of Fire and Rescue

600 N. Main Street, Suite 109

Woodstock, VA 22664

(540) 459-6167 voice

(540) 459-6192 fax

Press Release

September 12, 2010


Off-duty firefighter saves two men from duplex fire

WOODSTOCK, VA – An off-duty firefighter from Maryland alerted two men to a fire in their duplex apartment on Saturday, Sept. 11, in Woodstock, Va. Both men escaped unhurt.

Captain James Jiron, of Prince Georges County Fire/EMS, was at a family celebration across the street from 214 Dingledine Street when he stepped outside and noticed black smoke near the back of an apartment building. He yelled to family members to call 911 and then he and his father-in-law began looking for a hose.

Jiron went in the front door of the apartment, yelling that he was with the fire department. He found one man asleep on a couch on the first floor. A second man was upstairs, and Jiron warned him of the fire as well. Both men escaped without injuries. As the fire continued to burn, Jiron turned a table on its end and moved it against a doorway to slow the fire’s spread.

Meanwhile, Jiron’s father-in-law sprayed a fire extinguisher on the flames. A brush fire truck from the Virginia Department of Forestry was in the area, and its water supply kept the fire getting worse until the Woodstock Fire Department arrived.

“Jiron’s attentiveness, training and quick action prevented serious injuries and possibly saved lives today,” said John Collins, public information officer for Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.

While the building did have smoke detectors, they were not working.

“Of course, we always want to remind people to have smoke detectors on every level of their house, in their bedrooms and hallways,” Collins said. “And if you have smoke detectors, be sure that they’re working and that they have fresh batteries.”

A total of six people reside at the address. The Red Cross is assisting them with temporary housing.

The Shenandoah County fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Responding to the 3:15 p.m. call were Woodstock Fire Department, Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodstock Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.


John Collins, Public Information Officer

Cell: 864-313-8686

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones, upon hearing of Jiron’s actions, stated, “I am proud of the actions of Captain Jiron. Even though he was off-duty and without the protection of personal protective equipment, he went without hesitation to help others in trouble.” Jones concluded, “His actions are commendable and are held within the highest tradition of the Fire Service.”

Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Jiron, 34 years of age, is a resident of Gaithersburg and a 11-year member of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.  He is currently assigned to the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831.

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