@PGFDPIO Twitter

Thursday, July 1, 2010

CO Exposure Sends 4 to Hospital

At about 3:30 pm, Thursday, July 1, 2010, a carbon monoxide (CO)detector sounded a warning. That audible signal indicated that CO levels in the Emperian Village Apartment Complex building were unhealthy. A 911 call prompted the response of firefighters from Berwyn Heights Fire/EMS Station.

Upon their arrival firefighters found CO levels had reached 1000 parts per million (PPM). Any reading over 35 PPM is considered unhealthy. Additional resources were called to the scene and 11 occupants were evacuated from the 3-story garden style apartment building at 6101 Breezewood CT in Greenbelt. Paramedics treated and evaluated all those evacuated, including 5 children ranging in age from 3 months to 11 years old.

A basement level water heater exhaust pipe was found detached allowing the CO to escape into the building.

Paramedics transported 4 patients to a hospital for hyperbaric treatment. The 3 adults and 1 child are in good condition, however, their CO levels in their blood dictate treatment. Firefighters ventilated the building and the building was re occupied at about 5:45 pm.

Officials from the Office of the Fire Marshal are inspecting as many as 200 of these style water heaters throughout the complex tonight. It is possible that vandalism to the exhaust pipe may have caused it to separate from the water heater allowing the CO to vent into the building and causing the CO exposure. Fire/EMS Department officials want to ensure that other water heaters are safe and working properly.
Mark E. Brady

.Top 10 List of Things to do During the Fourth of July Weekend with Water Restrictions

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Citizens, residents and business are under a water use restriction this Fourth of July Holiday weekend imposed by WSSC.  The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department wanted to offer ideas on what to do instead of using water or otherwise help us to keep you safe and not use water at the same time. Using a late night talk show popular item we offer our Top 10 List of Things to do During the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend with Water Restrictions.

#10 Instead of running the dishwasher - If smoking is allowed inside/outside of your home, ensure you have large sturdy ashtrays inside/outside to dispose of extinguished butts properly.

#9 Instead of topping off your pool - Remove all matches and lighters to a safe place and out of reach of young ones

#8 On the Fourth of July - Instead of using illegal fireworks at backyard BBQ and starting a fire or having someone injured - Attend one of the many public Fireworks Displays located throughout the County.

#7 In the time you save by not flushing toilets – call our Call Center and arrange to surrender your fireworks. Call 301-583-2200.

#6 Instead of running your washing machine - Clean lint from your internal dryer vent and exterior vent.

#5 While you’re at #6 - Clean area around your furnace and water heater.

#4 Instead of watering your garden – Install a carbon monoxide alarm m in your home or business.

#3 Instead of doing the dishes - Ensure you have a smoke alarm on every level of home.

#2 Instead of watering your lawn - Develop and practice a home escape plan. Don’t forget to identify two ways out of every room and a safe place outside to meet and call 911

And the top thing to do during the Fourth of July Holiday while under water restriction??

#1 Instead of washing your car - Clean your smoke alarm, replace battery and test it to ensure it is working. Need a new alarm??? Call 301-864-SAFE


The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is aware of water restrictions imposed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). These restrictions are a result of a potential problem with a water main in Montgomery County; however, effects the entire WSSC service areas of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. To ensure there is an adequate water supply for vital services during the next four days, water restrictions have been imposed. It is in the spirit of community and civic cooperation that we ask all of our citizens and residents to follow these water restrictions. These are in place so that in the event of a significant fire emergency there will be an adequate water supply to extinguish the fire.

Our engine companies carry enough water on-board to be able to extinguish most fire emergencies. Additionally, we have water tankers located throughout the County that can deliver thousands of gallons of water if needed. In the event of a fire emergency, that exceeds our on-scene water resources, WSSC can re-route water supply to the effected area. Fire service leaders will constantly monitor the activity level throughout the County and redeploy resources if needed.

WSSC has taken a pro-active approach to this disruption in service. They were able to detect a problem and initiate action before a larger problems occurred. To ensure interagency operability, they have opened up lines of communications with leaders of both counties and public safety agencies. These communications included a 2:00 am conference call followed up by a 9:00 am meeting at the WSSC Headquarters in Laurel and will remain open for as long as needed.

We are asking our citizens, residents and business to cooperate and comply with the restrictions on water use. The combined assistance will ensure that fire emergencies will continue to be handled in a fast and efficient manner.

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Citizens and residents should use this time to remember basic fire safety habits and prevent fires from ever occurring. Instead of watering your grass and flowers or washing your car, check your home smoke alarms to ensure they are working and install a fresh battery.”




Jim Neustadt

(301) 206-8100


John C. White

(301) 206-8100


LAUREL – July 1, 2010: To ensure continued water supply for all WSSC customers and for fire protection and hospital/medical uses, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson today called for mandatory water restrictions for all WSSC customers. The goal is to reduce water usage by about one-third. The restrictions take effect immediately and are expected to last at least four days.

The mandatory restrictions are necessary after monitoring technology indicated a failing section of a 96-inch water main located near the corner of Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road in Potomac in Montgomery County. “This technology, an acoustic fiber optic monitoring system, detected the problem, allowing us to take preventative measures now,” says Johnson. “This proves the system works and helped us to prevent what could have been a much more serious situation. “ The fiber optics system was installed in the pipe three years ago and will eventually be installed in all of WSSC’s large water mains. The process to repair the pipe has already begun and will continue around-the-clock until complete. Until that time it is imperative that customers:

• Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools

• Use water only as necessary

• Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)

• Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only)

WSSC has been working with fire departments from both counties to make sure there is adequate fire protection, especially considering that this weekend is the 4th of July and there will likely be numerous fireworks displays. “We know this is a burden, especially on this holiday weekend. But if everyone can be vigilant and cut their water use by a third, we’ll be ok,” said Johnson. "We appreciate everyone's understanding, patience and cooperation while we work through this."

WSSC will notify customers once repairs are complete and mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary.

For additional information log on to the WSSC website at www.wsscwater.com or call the WSSC Call Center at 301.206.4002.