@PGFDPIO Twitter

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Greenbelt Fire Fatality - Identity of Deceased

A fire in a Greenbelt row house tragically claimed the life of a female resident on Friday evening, December 28, 2012.  The deceased has been identified as Betty M. Starry, 86 years-of-age, from Greenbelt, Maryland.  The circumstances surrounding the cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation.

As information involving the fire and death investigation at 2N Laurel Hill Court, Greenbelt, MD, becomes available, it will be released.  No other information is currently available.

The entire Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department extends our sympathy to the family and friends of Betty Starry.

Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
mebrady@co.pg.md.us
Twitter @PGFDPIO

Saturday, December 29, 2012

WUSA 9 News Report on Fatal Greenbelt Home Fire

Leave Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations


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

The use of fireworks on New Years Eve into New Years Day is second only to the Fourth of July.   Citizens, residents and visitors should be aware that the use of all consumer fireworks in Prince George's County are illegal.  Firefighters and Paramedics recommend that you leave the pyrotechnics to the experts and leave fireworks out of your celebration planning.

Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.  The danger is particulary high and a matter of concern for firefighters and paramedics as many New Year celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol may impair the judgement and common sense of the most well-intentioned individual and cause injury to themselves or innocent by-standers and ignite a fire.

The Law in Prince George’s County.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." 

Remember, SAFETY FIRST, will ensure everyone goes home.

Greenbelt Row House Fire with Fatality - Laurel Hill Road


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

A fire in a Greenbelt row house claimed the life of female tonight.  Just before 9:00 pm, Friday, firefighters were alerted to a fire in 2 Court of Laurel Hill Road with reports of someone trapped inside.  Firefighters arrived quickly and encountered a 2-story, middle of the row, row house with fire showing from the front and rear sides of the structure and two injured occupants that had escaped prior to the fire departments arrival. 

Firefighters immediately started an interior search and stretched hose lines to attack the fire.  The fire had extended to the second floor and was making it’s way towards the attic when firefighters gained control of the fire.  It required about 15 minutes to knock down the fire.

Search and rescue efforts resulted in a senior citizen female being located inside the burning home.  She was removed by firefighters and handed her over to awaiting paramedics.  Tragically, she was pronounced deceased.  Paramedics also treated an adult male and female that sustained injuries while exiting the home.  Their injuries are serious but not life threatening.  The relationship between the three occupants was not immediately available.

The row houses on each side of the house of origin sustained some fire damage causing displacement of the occupants.  The County Citizen Services Unit was on location assisting the 3 adults and 2 children displaced.

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators and the City of Greenbelt Police Department will be conducting a joint investigation of this fire incident and death.  As of this evening the cause and origin are “under investigation.”  Damage estimates are still being tabulated.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the identity of the deceased.

Firefighters stand-by the front door entrance to the row house where the death and injuries occurred.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2-Alarm Greenbelt Apartment Building Fire - Edmonston Terrace

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

Firefighters battled a fire in a Greenbelt apartment building that required about 30 minutes to extinguish. At around 4:30 pm, Wednesday, December 26, firefighters were alerted to a fire at 9133 Edmonston Terrace in Greenbelt.  This is a 2-story front/3-story in the rear garden style apartment building.

Upon arrival, firefighters found fire showing from the top two floors on the front side of the building. A civilian was rescued by firefighters using a extended ground ladder from his top floor apartment balcony in the rear of the building after retreating there for shelter.  The civilian was not injured.

A 2nd Alarm was sounded bringing about 50 firefighters and medics to the scene.

The fire grew in intensity and eventually extended through the roof before all personnel were evacuated. The bulk of the fire was then knocked down from the exterior before firefighters returned to the interior and completed extinguishment.

One firefighter declared a Mayday after becoming separated from his crew while operating in the building at the height of the fire. The firefighter maintained his location until he was almost immediately located by other firefighters. The firefighter was not injured.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported. All of the apartments in the building of origin are displaced as well from the attached building on each side. There is a total of 30 apartments in the 3 buildings with 21 that are occupied.

The cause of the fire is accidental and attributed to a malfunctioning furnace. Preliminary fire loss is estimated at $250,000.


All images and video by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO












Update on Injured Firefighters

The three firefighters injured in this mornings house fire have been released from the Medstar Washington Hospital Center Burn Unit.

All three sustained burn injuries while battling a house fire in the 2800 block of Colebrooke Drive at around 3:00 am today.

Despite wearing their full personal protective equipment and gear, the firefighters sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns to multiple parts of their body after being exposed to extreme heat. They will remain off-duty until follow-up treatments at the Burn Unit have been completed.

Mark E. Brady
PGFD Chief Spokesperson


This E-mail and any of its attachments may contain Prince George's
County Government or Prince George's County 7th Judicial Circuit
Court proprietary information or Protected Health Information,
which is privileged and confidential. This E-mail is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this E-mail,
you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution,
copying, or action taken in relation to the contents of and
attachments to this E-mail is strictly prohibited by federal law
and may expose you to civil and/or criminal penalties. If you have
received this E-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete the original and any copy of this E-mail and
any printout.

Bowie House Fire - Anxious Moments but Everyone is OK

Some anxious moments at a Bowie house fire this afternoon. At around 12:30 pm today a fire in a Bowie home sparked an intensive search for 4 children reported to be trapped inside the burning home by their father.

An alarm company notified the adult male home owner of an activated alarm at his house in the 12500 block of Knowledge Lane. The father left work and arrived at about the same time as firefighters that were alerted after a neighbor notified 911. Smoke was rolling out of the eaves of the 2-story single family home and heavy smoke conditions filled the interior.

The father was not aware that his wife had taken the children to another location for the day and he frantically explained to firefighters that as many as 4 children were trapped inside.

An intensive search and rescue commenced and additional fire and EMS units were summoned to the scene.
A fire in a 2nd floor closest had extended into the attic and firefighters were working on extinguishing the fire as other firefighters continued to look for the four children. A family pet dog was located and removed safely from the home but no children were located.

After establishing some family communication the father learned that his family was safe at another location. He was not aware no one was at home.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the cause is under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $20,000. No injuries reported.


This E-mail and any of its attachments may contain Prince George's
County Government or Prince George's County 7th Judicial Circuit
Court proprietary information or Protected Health Information,
which is privileged and confidential. This E-mail is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is
addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this E-mail,
you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution,
copying, or action taken in relation to the contents of and
attachments to this E-mail is strictly prohibited by federal law
and may expose you to civil and/or criminal penalties. If you have
received this E-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately
and permanently delete the original and any copy of this E-mail and
any printout.

Firefighters Injured Battling Temple Hills House Fire

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

Three firefighters have been admitted to the Burn Unit after being injured battling a Temple Hills house fire early this morning.  Firefighter/Medics arrived at a 1-story, brick exterior, with basement, single family home in the 2900 block of Colebrooke Drive just before 3:00 am, Wednesday, December 26.  Heavy smoke was issuing from the basement level of the house and occupants advised firefighters that 3 family members were unaccounted for.  One team of firefighters initiated an aggressive search of the house as other teams entered the structure on the first floor and basement level to fight the fire.  The search team yielded negative results on their primary search and were notified that all 13 occupants had been accounted for and were safe outside.

The fire was located in the basement.  High heat and thick smoke filled the basement and stairway leading up to the first floor.  Firefighters made their way into the basement through an exterior door and began to extinguish the fire.  Three firefighters positioned themselves at the top of the stairwell  to "hold the stairs" using a charged hose line to prevent the fire from extending from the basement to the first floor. The heat rising from the basement fire was nearly unbearable, however, firefighters held their position at the top of the stairs and were successful in preventing any significant fire extension to the top floor.

The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes of arrival.  The three firefighters that were positioned at the top of the steps sustained burn injuries from the intense heat.  The burns are considered minor and are consistent with the degree of injuries firefighters sustain, even when wearing their personal protective equipment, when exposed to intense heat.  One firefighter was burned on his neck, ears and wrist, the second firefighter had burns on his arms and wrist and the third sustained burns to his ears, wrist and knee.  Paramedics transported all three to the Medstar Washington Hospital Center Burn Unit where they have since been admitted for evaluation and treatment.  There were no civilian injuries.

Fire Investigators determined the cause of the fire to be accidental and attributed to a malfunctioning dehumidifier.  Fire loss is estimated at $100,000.  There are 8 adults and 5 children that reside in the house.  They are displaced and currently being assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit.

These photos courtesy of Billy McNeel, Citizen Services Unit



Monday, December 24, 2012

Senator Benson Leads by Example - Alarmingly

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

Maryland State Senator Joanne Benson is leading by example by having a fresh smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector installed in her Seat Pleasant home.  Senator Benson invited firefighters into her home this Christmas Eve morning and watched as the life-saving devices were installed in her home.  "I hope others will follow and protect their loved ones and homes with working smoke alarms and CO detectors, stated Benson"

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department recommends a working smoke alarm and CO detector on every level of your home.  Alarms and detectors have an active life of 8 to 10 years and then need to be replaced. Batteries should be refreshed at least once-a-year and tested on the first day of every month to ensure they are working.  Dust or vacuum alarms to remove particles of dust that could effect their warning.

Prince George's County residents can receive the very same service provided to Senator Benson today. Simply call our Safety First Program at 301-864-SAFE (7233).  A firefighter will come to your home and install one or both of the devices for you; at no cost.  This service is made possible by generous donations of smoke and CO alarms by PEPCO, 1-800-BOARD-UP, IAFF Local 1619, Serve Pro, Minkoff Company and other county based business.


All photos provided courtesy of Acting Assistant Fire Thomas "TJ" James.
Fire Fighter Medic Technician Corey Wargo installs the alarm just outside of the sleeping area.

Senator Joanne Benson, Technician Wargo and Assistant Fire Chief Alicia Francis.

Senator Joanne Benson and Assistant Fire Chief Alicia Francis observe Technician Wargo install a working alarm.

Single Vehicle Crash with Fatality - BW Parkway

A single vehicle crash this morning has tragically claimed a life.  At about 11:00 am, Monday, December 24, firefighter/medics were alerted to the crash located in the median strip of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway between Annapolis Road and Riverdale Road in Landover.  A vehicle with the driver being the lone occupant traveling northbound on the Parkway left the roadway and hit a large tree in the median.

One of the first units on the scene was the U.S. Park Police Helicopter "Eagle 1."  The adult male, 40ish years of age, was trapped in his car and was extricated by firefighters.  He was unconscious and suffering multi-system trauma.  The patient was loaded into Eagle 1 and flown a short distance to a nearby Trauma Center.

Unfortunately, he was pronounced deceased a short time after his arrival at the hospital.  The U.S. Park Police will be handling the release of any additional information.

Mark E. Brady
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
Chief Spokesperson

PGFD Comment on Tragedy in Webster, New York

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

The members of the Prince George's County, Maryland, Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department are following news out of upstate New York this morning where four firefighters have been shot as they prepared to advance on a working house fire.  Two of the firefighters have died.

Firefighters are members of an extended family that transcend any jurisdictional boundaries and when tragedy occurs anywhere around the world to members of our family, the pain and suffering affects all of us.

The news is shocking and has consumed the thoughts of our combined career, civilian and volunteer membership.  Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters that have died and are injured, their families and their Fire Department.  It is unconscionable that firefighters doing their job to help others in need have suffered death and injury from this senseless act."

Tis the Season.... Firefighters Deliver Holiday Joy!!!


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

When your in elementary school and you are summoned to the principals office you might think your in trouble.  It was just the opposite for two young cousins on Friday, December 21.

Prince George’s County career and volunteer Firefighter/Medics have been delivering toys and food baskets to citizens and residents that otherwise may not have been able to enjoy the holiday season.  Fire Lieutenant Jeff Pinkett and crew from the Beltsville Fire/EMS Department Station #831 arranged one such event.  Lt. Pinkett worked with the Principal and staff from the Vansville Elementary School in selecting a family that would appreciate the support.  

Firefighters arrived at the School on Friday morning and enjoyed presenting the toys to a pair of cousins.  First Grade student Jordy and Head Start student Dillon were thrilled and excited to open up the presents in front of the firefighters.

While the young children were excited I believe the firefighters were even more excited to have been a part in making the holidays a bit brighter for the family.











Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lanham House Fire - Princess Garden Parkway


Firefighters made a quick knock-down of a fire in a 110-year-old Lanham home this afternoon. At around 12:30 pm, Sunday, December 23, firefighters arrived at a 2-story single family home at 6135 Princess Garden Parkway with fire showing from the first floor.

Firefighters initiated an aggressive interior search and attack on the fire. The fire was knocked down within 10 minutes of arrival. All searches yielded negative results and no injuries were reported.
The County Citizen Services Unit was on location to provide assistance to the 2 adult occupants that are displaced.

Fire Investigators continue their work to determine the cause and origin of the fire which resulted in $50,000 estimated fire loss.

Photo courtesy of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department.

Mark E. Brady
PGFD Chief Spokesperson







Friday, December 21, 2012

College Park Explosives Investigation Leads to Arrest

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

A joint investigation involving the Fire/EMS Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal and the Prince George’s County Police Department resulted in the discovery and mitigation of criminal activity involving explosives.  Two federal agencies, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) also assisted with the investigation.

An on-going investigation into a pipe bomb incident that occurred on December 18 at a home in the 8800 block of 48th Avenue in College Park led investigators to two other College Park homes.  Tuesday’s incident has not been forensically linked to today's incident; however, investigators believe that there is a relationship between the two incidents.  Analysis of forensic evidence will determine if these incidents are conclusively linked. 


At approximately 4:00 am, Friday, December 21, investigators developed information indicating that a potential hazardous device was located in a van parked in the 5000 block of Edgewood Road.  The Fire/EMS Department’s Bomb Squad disrupted the device and rendered it safe.  The contents of the device were collected and will be examined at a forensics laboratory.  The associated residence was checked for additional hazardous devices with none being located.

At approximately 10:30 am a search warrant was executed on a house in the 9000 block of Rhode Island Avenue, intersection of Blackfoot Place, by the bomb squad and members of law enforcement.  As a result of the criminal investigation John Frank Jenkins (W/M 12/25/83), resident of the Rhode Island Ave address, was arrested and has been charged with two felony counts of “Manufacture or possession of a destructive device”, (Criminal Law Article 4-503) which carries a maximum penalty of 25 Years and/or a fine of $250,000.  As this remains an open and ongoing investigation, additional charges are possible.  No additional hazardous devices were discovered at this location.  An adult female occupant was also arrested on an unrelated open warrant.

Deputy Fire Chief Scott Hoglander stated, "This investigation involved serious criminal activity that included explosives.  I'm confident that we stopped activity that could have resulted in harm to innocent people and property damage."

Fire Chief Marc Bashoor stated, "The successful mitigation of this dangerous activity is a result of an around the clock investigation by our the Office of the Fire Marshal and the cooperation of the County Police and Federal Partners."

The County Police, FBI and ATF have jointly participated in this on-going investigation.  The City of Annapolis Fire Department’s Bomb Squad also assisted at the two incidents today.

John Frank Jenkins (W/M 12/25/83), resident of the Rhode Island Avenue address.

Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad members are briefed before conducting search of a house on Rhode Island Avenue.

Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad members are briefed before conducting search of a house on
 Rhode Island Avenue.

Incident Command bus and Annapolis City Bomb Squad staged near Rhode Island Avenue

The intersection of Blackfoot Place and Rhode Island Avenue was closed while the search was conducted.

A Fire/EMS Department Bomb Squad member prepares for the search for explosive devices.