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Monday, November 26, 2012

UPDATED - Apartment Building Fire - 85th Avenue

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

Prince George's County Firefighters battled a New Carrolton apartment building fire this afternoon that escalated to 3 Alarms of personnel and apparatus.

At around 1:00 pm, Monday, numerous 911 calls were received reporting an apartment fire at 5312 85th Avenue in the Sutton Walk apartment complex. This is a garden style apartment building with 3 stories in the front and 4 stories in the rear of the building.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire showing from the top two floors. It appears all civilians had evacuated safely prior to the fire department arrival. The fire extended into the attic area where firefighters were successful in stopping the extension into adjoining apartment buildings. A 2nd Alarm was sounded bringing additional Fire/EMS units and personnel to the scene to assist in battling the fire. It required fifty firefighters 30 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire. A precautionary 3rd Alarm was sounded and staged nearby in the event they were needed.

Two firefighters sustained a minor burn injuries and were transported to the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center where it is expected both will be treated and released.

The cause of the fire has been ruled "accidental" and attributed to a malfunctioning natural gas stove in a 2nd floor apartment.  Fire loss is estimated at $750,000. There are a total of 43 apartments that may be affected by the fire and a lack of utilities.  A minimum of 11 apartments in the building of origin will be uninhabitable from fire, heat, smoke and water damage. Two attached buildings may also suffer displacement due to a lack of utilities.  The County Citizen Services Unit is on the scene working with apartment complex management in providing assistance to the displaced residents.

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