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Thursday, January 13, 2011

District Heights House Fire with Civilian Injury

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

Just before 10:00 am, Thursday, January 13, 2011, Firefighter/Medics from District Heights and surrounding communities were alerted to a house fire in the 2000 block of County Road. Firefighters arrived quickly at a 2-story wood-frame structure with smoke and fire showing from the second floor. An aggressive interior attack was initiated and primary searches for occupants were made. The fire was extinguished and contained to the room of origin.

An adult male was the only one home when he was awakened by finding himself choking from the thick smoke. He exited the home and sustained injuries while doing so. The occupant stated the home was equipped with a smoke alarm, however, did not activate for unknown reasons. Paramedics tended to his injuries on the scene and transported him to an area Burn Unit for minor burns and possible smoke inhalation.

The fire appears to have started in a second floor bedroom. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and preliminary fire loss is estimated at $40,000. Firefighters rapid containment of the fire limited the amount of damage to the house.  The home will not be livable until repairs are made and the family will be temporarily displaced. The Fire/EMS Department’s Citizen Services Unit will be assisting the family of 3 adults and 2 children with temporary shelter.

The Fire/EMS Departments reminds citizens and residents that smoke alarms should be tested at least once-a-month by activating the test button on the face of the detector and ensuring an alarm sounds. If the alarm is not working; replace the batteries or get a new alarm. Fresh batteries should be installed at least once-a-year. For a smoke alarm installed in your home, free of charge, call our Safety First Smoke Alarm Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233). Remember; SAFETY FIRST – Everyone Goes Home.

UPDATE - Fire Investigators have determined a space heater ignited nearby combustibles causing the fire.  Fire loss was estimated at $50,000.  Remember to "give space heaters space" at least 3 feet in any direction.

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