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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.

Hyattsville House Fire Claims Second Victim

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

It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of a second victim from a Hyattsville house fire. On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at about 3:50 am, firefighters removed two sisters from their burning home in the 4700 block of 40th Avenue. Seven occupants were inside the home of which 5 escaped with treatable injuries. Two sisters were removed from the home by firefighters and transported to area hospitals in extremely critical condition.

Later that morning, Kimberly Hernandez, 9-year-old, DOB-1/29/01, who had been found unconscious and removed from the first floor, succumbed to her injuries.

Her sister, Kelli Hernandez, 13-years-old, DOB-2/22/1997, was removed by firefighters from her second floor bedroom.  She was initially transported to Prince George’s Trauma Center. Paramedics had partially resuscitated the young girl en route to the hospital by restoring a faint pulse. Once somewhat stabilized, she was transported to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for specialized treatment offered at that facility. Tragically, she has also succumbed to her injuries.

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators believe the fire to be “accidental” in nature and estimated fire loss to the structure and contents at $350,000.

Firefighters Return to Oxon Hill Community Where Fatal Fire Occurred to Provide Safety Info and Smoke Alarms

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Prince George's County Firefighter/Medics will return to an Oxon Hill community today to provide fire safety information and smoke alarms. An adult male perished in a home fire yesterday morning on Corla Drive and personnel will focus on this incident as they go door-to-door and discuss fire safety with neighbors.

Firefighters will install a working smoke alarm, free of charge, to any home found in need of one.  

Firefighters will be gathering at Claudia Drive and Corla Drive at 11:30 am today to disseminate materials and begin canvassing around noon. 

The cause of the fatal fire remains under investigation and the identity of the deceased has not been officially released.

Mark E. Brady

Winter Storm Fire Safety

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Winter storms can bring havoc to our daily lives.

They can interrupt electrical service, cause colder temperatures, and make traveling difficult.

Fire risks increase when winter storms strike.

The use of candles, alternative heating sources, and makeshift cooking methods can significantly increase the chance of a home fire occurring.

By following some basic safety tips, however, you can protect yourself and your family from fire when winter weather strikes.

The United States Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, and practicing a home fire escape plan

For information on having a smoke alarm installed in your home; free of charge, call our Operation Safety First line at 301-864-SAFE (7233). Safety First-Everyone Goes Home.
Mark E. Brady