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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fire/EMS Department Returns to Oxon Hill Community After Tragic Fire

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

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics and staff from the Department's Community Outreach Office returned to an Oxon Hill Community this afternoon providing fire safety information and smoke alarms after a tragic fire yesterday.

Firefighters had extinguished a house fire at 307 Corla Drive at about 8:30 am on Monday, January 24, 2011. An adult male was located in the basement and pronounced deceased. There is a reasonable presumption that the deceased is a 69-year-old male resident of the house, however, positive identification is pending autopsy results. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. A smoke alarm was found in the home, however, appears to have been non-working due to a lack of a battery.

As part of our Operation Safety First, personnel conducted a Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program (PINIP). This event is held after a significant fire, injury or death when there is a heightened community awareness about the incident. Citizens and residents are more open to allow firefighters into their homes to discuss safety items because of their awareness and curiosity about the incident.  Firefighters go door-to-door throughout affected communities answering questions, providing safety information, assistance in planning home escapes and checking smoke alarms.  If an alarm is found to be non-working or missing, firefighters will provide and install a new working smoke alarm, at no cost to the home owner. This program has been a staple of the Prince George’s County Fire Service for over 25 years.

Firefighter/Medics from Oxon Hill and surrounding communities, Community Outreach staff and Ellis F. Watson; Chief of Staff for County Councilman’s Obie Patterson-District 8, canvassed the neighborhood this afternoon going door-to-door. Nearly 300 doors were knocked with fire safety literature left where nobody was at home.  Of the 300 homes visited there was 88 positive resident contacts initiated.  Of the 88 contacts and smoke alarms checked; 10 smoke alarms were found to be non-working.  Six smoke alarms were replaced and 4 fresh batteries were installed in existing alarms and tested to ensure they worked.
Prince George’s County citizens and residents are encouraged to contact our Operation Safety First Smoke Alarm line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and request a firefighter visit.  Fire/EMS personnel will provide assistance in planning a home escape and check your smoke alarm, if needed, a new working smoke alarm will be provided and installed; free of charge.

Safety First - Everyone Goes Home

Firefighters from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS Station #821 enter a home on Corla Drive to check smoke alarms and provide fire safety information. (BRADY)

A smoke alarm is tested and worked.

Teresa Crisman, Fire/EMS Department's Community Outreach Office, provides a "hearing impaired" smoke alarm to Corla Drive homeowner Lourdes Camson.

Battalion Chief Rob Wallace (far right-with tie) provides instructions to crews prior to the PINIP.

A Corla Drive homeowner allows Firefighters/Medics into her home.  A smoke alarm was found non-working due to a lack of a battery.  A fresh battery was provided and alarm tested successfully.

Firefighter/Medics canvasing the Oxon Hill neighborhood were joined by Ellis F. Watson (far right-cap and sunglasses) from Councilman Obie Patterson's office.

Firefighters went door-to-door making as many citizen contacts as possible.

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