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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Second Fire in 36 Hours at Home of Former DCFD Fire Chief


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

Prince George’s County Firefighters extinguished a fire in a Fort Washington home for the second time in 36 hours this afternoon and the homeowner is no stranger to the fire service.

On Sunday evening at around 7:30 pm, firefighters from the Fort Washington area were alerted to a house fire in the 12100 block of Lihou Court.  They arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the attached garage and the roofline where the garage and house meet.  The fire was quickly contained and extinguished.  No injuries were reported and the family was displaced and stayed with family members.  The cause of Sunday’s fire was determined to be accidental and attributed to an unattended grill being used too close to house exterior.  Fire loss was estimated at $5,000.

The family returned to the home this morning to start collecting personal items.  A contractor was hired to begin the fire restoration and cleanup and they were also working in the house when a fire broke out on the second floor.   For the second time within 2 days the family escaped a fire in their home safely and without injury.  The contractors also escaped without injury.  Firefighters arrived and required about 30 to 40 minutes to extinguish the fire.  One firefighter sustained a small burn injury to his foot and was transported to the Burn Unit for treatment.  It is anticipated he will be treated and released today.  Today’s fire remains under investigation, however, is not considered suspicious.  A preliminary fire loss is estimated at $100,000.

Theodore Coleman, Fire Chief in the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1988, owns the home.  He was on the scene during both incidents.  Despite suffering a second fire at his home, Coleman's biggest concern today was for the firefighter that was injured.  He wanted to leave and go to the hospital and visit with him just as he did when he was the Fire Chief.  Former Chief Coleman was re-assured the injury was minor and the firefighter would be released this afternoon.  He and other family members will be staying with his daughter that lives in the area until his home can be repaired.

Firefighters were able to salvage many momentous and photos from when he was the DCFD Fire Chief.  The items were packaged up and brought back to his daughter’s house by family members.

All photos by PGFD PIO Mark Brady

The area involved on Sunday is evident by the blue tarp on top of the garage roof.  This mornings fire involved rooms on the second floor of the house.

Firefighters salvaged as many personal items as possible for former DCFD Coleman and placed them in a safe area in the front yard.


Firefighters salvaged as many personal items as possible for former DCFD Coleman and placed them in a safe area in the front yard.


Former DCFD Fire Chief Coleman (hat on) discusses the fire with Assistant Chief Kenneth McSwain.

Firefighters salvaged as many personal items as possible for former DCFD Coleman and placed them in a safe area in the front yard.


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