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Monday, May 23, 2011

Firefighter Injured By Dog After Battling House Fire

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

A Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medic was injured when he was bitten by a dog at the scene of a Capitol Heights house fire.  Fire/EMS units were dispatched to a 911 report of a house fire in the 900 block of Clovis Avenue.  Units arrived on the scene and reported fire showing from the 1-story, with basement, single family home.  Firefighters initiated an interior attack and search of the structure.  As the fire was being contained and extinguished, searches for occupants proved negative with the exception of three dogs located in the basement.  With the basement area deemed safe and free of any smoke or fire, firefighters secured the dogs in the basement.   A fourth dog was found outside and remained on the porch as firefighters went about their work.

Firefighters had the fire extinguished in about 15 minutes and were preparing to overhaul the burned debris when the dog, appears to be a Chow, left the porch and entered the structure.  Fearing for the safety of the dog inside the damaged structure, a firefighter approached the dog which acted friendly as the firefighter pet him.  Suddenly and without warning the dog bit the hand of the firefighter causing puncture wounds and possible nerve damage.  The veteran Fire Fighter/Medic Captain was treated by paramedics on the scene and transported to Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore.  This medical facility is a specialty trauma center that specializes in hand injuries.  The firefighter is still undergoing treatment, however, could be released as soon as this evening.

Prince George’s County Animal Management officials took custody of the dog involved in the firefighter injury until the owner could produce verification of vaccination.  The three dogs in the basement were not injured and are in the care of their owner.

Three occupants of the house will be displaced and are making their own arrangements for alternative living arrangements.  The fire appears to have started in the kitchen area, however, the exact cause remains under investigation.  Fire loss is estimated at $55,000 for the structure and contents. 

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