MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Prince George’s County Firefighters were alerted to a fire in a Hyattsville mall this afternoon. At about 4:30 pm, Firefighters from Hyattsville and surrounding communities battled a fire at the Mall at Prince George’s Plaza, 3500 East West Highway. Firefighters arrived to find black smoke coming from the shipping/delivery tunnel that runs underneath the stores inside the mall. An electrical transformer was found to be on fire and firefighters maintained a safe position inside the tunnel protecting exposures while PEPCO officials ensured the electrical power was turned off. During this time an explosion occurred inside the transformer causing the fire to accelerate and generating a large amount of thick black smoke that brought visibility inside the tunnel to zero with the smoke now entering the mall. An evacuation of the mall was ordered and security personnel conducted a very through and effective removal of all civilians. An adult female suffered an unknown illness during the evacuation; she was treated and transported to an area hospital,
Firefighters were able to control and extinguish the transformer fire at about 6:00 pm. Firefighters were using large fans to remove residual smoke and check for fire extension.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. The status of the Mall at Prince George’s Plaza will be up to management.