MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
A Lewisdale man and his wife escaped a fire in their home on Sunday evening seemingly uninjured by the smoke and heat filling their home. The husband collapsed moments later as paramedics were tending to him. Just after 10:00 pm, Sunday, January 20, firefighter/medics were alerted to a fire in the basement of a 2-story duplex in the 6600 block of 24th Place in the Lewisdale section of Hyattsville.
Firefighters arrived at the home with two occupants, a husband and wife, having escaped safely and were located in the front yard. Firefighters stretched hose lines into the basement of the home to extinguish the fire as another firefighter checked on the couple. The adult male was conscious and talking, however, was in obvious respiratory distress and complaining of chest pains. A paramedic unit form the first due station, Chillum Fire/EMS Station #844, was already responding as part of the “working fire dispatch” and arrived to start treating the 65 year-old-male. The man expressed concern for his pets, 3 dogs and 3 cats, still inside the house.
Firefighters found a relatively small fire in the basement which they quickly contained and extinguished. Firefighters searched the house for the pets, quickly locating a dog and reunited the pet with the homeowners. At that point paramedics were preparing the man for transport to a hospital when he suddenly suffered cardiac arrest.
Paramedics transported the man to a nearby hospital while performing advanced pre-hospital emergency care. The man was pronounced deceased a short time after his arrival in the emergency room.
Two other dogs and two of the three cats were located in good condition. County Animal Control officials will keep the five pets until the family is ready to claim them.
The County Citizen Services Unit provided assistance to the wife with temporary housing arrangements. The attached home was not affected by the fire and occupants were able to remain.
The fire investigation remains ongoing. Fire loss is estimated at $10,000. No firefighter or other civilian injuries were reported. The identity of the deceased is being withheld to allow for family notification. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – State of Maryland, will determine the cause of death.