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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

District Heights Apartment Fire - Rochelle Avenue

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

At about 7:45 pm a County Police Officer saw a column of smoke and tracked down the source to an apartment building on fire in District Heights. The Police Lieutenant immediately notified dispatchers and proceeded to enter the burning building.  He knocked on as many apartment doors as possible to alert residents of the need to evacuate.

Fortunately all residents were able to escape without injury.

Firefighters arrived at 1971 Rochelle Avenue, a 3-story apartment building, and encountered a well-advanced fire burning on all floors and in the attic. A Second Alarm was sounded and a precautionary Third Alarm was sounded a short time later.

About 75 firefighter/medics battled the fire for nearly an hour before declaring extinguishment.

All firefighters were rotated through a rehab area and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage estimates are still being tabulated.

Twenty-one apartments, approximately 30 residents, will be displaced. The Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross are assisting those displaced.  A temporary shelter has been opened at the Central High School for displaced residents.

UPDATE - Wednesday morning - Fire loss is estimated at $500,000.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Conditions on arrival by firefighters.  This is a view from the rear of the building.  Photo by Brian Padgett.

Photo by Brian Padgett

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