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Monday, April 11, 2011

Beltsville House Fire - 4100 Block of Ulster Road

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

Firefighters from Beltsville and surrounding stations were alerted to a house fire in the 4100 block of Ulster Road this morning just before 10:00 am.


Fire/EMS units arrived within minutes and encountered heavy fire coming from the 2-story single family home with an attached garage. A precautionary 2nd Alarm was sounded as fire consumed the garage and had extended into the second floor and roof area.

As firefighters were advancing hose lines and searching for any occupants inside the home, a roof collapse appeared imminent and all personnel were ordered to evacuate the structure. All firefighters self evacuated safely and the firefight continued from the safety of the exterior. Once the bulk of the fire had been knocked down, firefighters re-entered the structure to complete searches and extinguish the remainder of the fire. With the exception of a family pet dog, no one was home when firefighters arrived.

It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire. There were 60 firefighter/medics, command officers and support personnel that operated on the scene of this incident.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. An adult male neighbor sustained minor lacerations to his arm when he broke the window out of a rear door to allow a dog to escape from the burning home. The dog, “Spencer,” a nearly 12 year old male, was soon reunited with the homeowner and did not appear to have suffered any injury. Paramedics tended to the injured neighbor on the scene, however, did not go to the hospital. No other civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The well-known Kevin Kennedy family of Beltsville will be displaced and are making their own arrangements for temporary housing.

Video of Firefighters arrival courtesy of College Park VFD




Firefighters arrived quickly at the house at 4112 Ulster Road in Beltsville to find heavy fire conditions consuming the garage, second floor and roof. (BRADY)
The fire appears to have started in the area of the garage and extended into the second floor and roof.  The cause and origin are still under investigation. (BRADY)

Firefighters continuing to knock down hot spots after the bulk of the fire had been extinguished. (BRADY)


Spencer, 1 month shy of his 12th birthday, was released from the burning home by a neighbor that broke out a glass door to allow the dog to escape.  The dog was unharmed, however, the neighbor sustained lacerations to his arm. (BRADY)


Ryan Continues to Recover


Riverdale Volunteer Fire Chief and District of Columbia Career Fire Fighter Charles Ryan remains in “critical” but stable condition at the Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center.  Ryan sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over 40% of his body in an early Friday morning fire in northeast Washington, DC where he was working.

Even though he remains intubated, medical staff had him up taking slow and measured laps around the Intensive Care Unit of the Burn Center.  Family, close personal friends and fellow firefighters have had a constant presence at the hospital.  Chuck has been able to communicate via facial expressions and written/typed words.  One of his very first communications was to inquire about the welfare of his crewmembers.

Whenever a firefighter, regardless of department affiliation, is injured and hospitalized in the Burn Unit, a fraternity of previous burn center patients return and help families and friends of the injured to understand the healing process.  Retired PGFD Fire Lieutenant Dino Mahaffey and his wife spent time at the hospital over the weekend.  The Mahaffey’s spent time with Chuck’s family and firefighters helping them to understand the healing process and to reinforce the knowledge that the Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center is the best possible place to be at this time and that burn patients have the very best physician in Dr. Marion Jordan, director of the Washington Hospital Center's Burn Unit.

Steve Lamphier, Volunteer President of the Riverdale Fire/EMS Station, stated late Sunday night, “Chuck continues to make remarkable progress, the medical staff is continuing to assess his burns and has reported some positive news.”  He added, “Chuck still can not have visitors. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and thoughts.”

Medical staff will re-evaluate Ryan's condition today and possibly remove the intubutaion tube; another positive sign in the road to recovery.