Early Morning Forestville Fire Appears to have Started in "Grow Room"

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

mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

At around 3:30 am, today, Friday, November 15, firefighters arrived at 6431 Pennsylvania Avenue in Forestville.  Fire/EMS encountered fire showing from the top floor of the 3-story garden style apartment building.  A precautionary Second Alarm was sounded, however, first arriving firefighters had the bulk of the fire knocked down within 15 minutes of arrival.  Several families were displaced.  The occupant of the apartment of origin was transported to an area hospital for an unspecified illness and no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

Fire Investigators have determined the fire is accidental, with extenuating circumstances.  Fire loss is estimated at $150,000.

Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters were conducting a secondary search of the apartment of origin when a marijuana grow room was discovered.  Investigators believe the fire origin was located in this room.  The County Police were notified for their independent investigation.

This was the third fire in the Penn Landing Apartment complex in the past eight days.  We believe the fires are independent of each other with separate and distinct causes and are not related.

The first incident occurred on Wednesday, November 6, firefighters battled a fire in a top floor apartment at 6425 Pennsylvania Avenue.  This fire was determined to be Arson with fire loss estimated at $350,000.  The investigation remains open and on going.

The second fire in the complex was just after 4:00 pm, Wednesday, November 13, firefighters from the District Heights area responded to a report of an apartment fire.  Fire/EMS units arrived at the 3-story apartment building at 6561 Pennsylvania Avenue with smoke showing from the second floor.  A bedroom fire was quickly located and extinguished.  An unattended candle is responsible for this fire that caused $10,000 in estimated fire loss.  Two adults and two children were displaced.  No injuries were reported.

It is uncommon to have 3 fires within the same apartment complex in such a close period of time.  The Fire/EMS Department will meet with apartment complex management to discuss the incidents, community outreach and public education opportunities.

This is raw video captured by Paul "Wall" Hawkins

Conditions on arrival 6431 Pennsylvania Avenue at about 3:30 am (image is from the Morningside VFD Twitter)

Image by Paul "Wall" Hawkins