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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

UPDATE - Fire at Oxon Hill House of Worship

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

Prince George's County Fire Investigators continue their work to determine the cause and origin of a fire that caused $100,000 in estimated fire loss at an Oxon Hill House of Worship.

Firefighters were alerted at about 7:30 am, New Years Day, 2013, for a fire at the First Wesleyan Church of Oxon Hill at 1801 Iverson Street.

Conditions on arrival.  Image courtesy of Volunteer Fire Fighter Patrick Mann.
Fire/EMS units arrived to find two interior areas of the 1-story structure on fire. Heavy fire on the interior had extended into the roof area before being brought under control after 25 minutes of battling the blaze. No firefighter or civilian injuries occurred.Due to the heavy fire visible on arrival, a Second Alarm was sounded bringing additional Firefighter, paramedics and support units to the scene. The majority of the additional alarm was on stand-by and eventually were placed available after the initial alarm of firefighters gained control of the fire and extinguished it.Preliminary fire loss is estimated at $100,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are notified by Fire Investigators after any fire at a House of Worship. ATF Agents will be assisting Prince George's County Fire Investigators into the search for the cause and origin of this fire.  Fire Investigators do not believe this fire is suspicious, however, their investigation remains open and on-going.

There was a service at the church on New Years Eve that started at 10:00 pm.  Midway through the service the neighborhood experienced a loss of power.  The members of the church concluded their service and left the building before power was restored.

The interior of the church sustained significant damage.

A Holy Bible sits among the burned debris.

Holy Bibles lay amongst  burned debris.

A Fire Investigator talks with members of the church under the burned silhouette of a cross that was on the wall.

Firefighters salvaged the church cross that adorned the wall of the alter.
Firefighters brought the cross outside and placed it into a garden next to a larger cross.

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