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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fire Chief Promises Thorough and Complete Investigation and Review of Riverdale Incident

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

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor has stated that he will ensure a thorough and complete investigation into the incident that resulted in seven firefighters being injured. On Friday evening, February 24, 2012, firefighters responded to 911 reports of a house fire at 6404 57th Avenue in Riverdale. Two of the injured firefighters remain hospitalized in the Burn Unit at Medstar at the Washington Hospital Center.

In order to discover the chain of events and circumstances which contributed to the outcome of this incident, Fire Chief Bashoor has issued a high-priority directive for the Department to immediately embark on a thorough investigation which will involve three parallel, ongoing and interrelated disciplines:

Determination of Cause and Origin – as is customarily conducted under the direction of our Office of the Fire Marshall.

An Operational Review and After Action Report – Conducted under the direction of our Emergency Services Command.

A Thorough Safety Audit of the Incident – by a Safety Investigation Team (SIT), this will be conducted under the direction of the Risk Management and Safety Office, by both internal and external partners that the Fire Chief will select.

Fire Chief Bashoor wrote to members of the Fire/EMS Department, "If we are to truly learn from this experience, we MUST first be honest with ourselves and honest and forthcoming with information that these teams will need."

It is important to note that all three Investigative Teams will be regularly communicating their progress. The SIT will be selected from both internal and external resources to assure independent verification of fact.

Bashoor stated. "It is my intent to leave no stone un-turned and no question un-asked as we seek to discover the contributing factors that precipitated this incident. As Fire Chief, I commit to you that each of these inquests will be open and honest. I further commit that the eventual findings will be promptly released in the form of a written After Action Report." He concluded, "This After Action Report will serve to benefit not only firefighters in Prince George's County but will be made available to all fire departments to assist them in avoiding similar circumstances."

An annoucemnt concernng the cause and origin of the fire is expected within the next 24 to 48 hours.

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