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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave Backyard Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations

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

The use of fireworks on New Years Eve into New Years Day is second only to the Fourth of July.   Citizens, residents and visitors should be aware that the use of all consumer fireworks in Prince George's County is illegal.  Firefighters and Paramedics recommend that you leave the pyrotechnics to the experts and leave consumer purchased fireworks out of your celebration planning.

Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.  The danger is particularly high and a matter of concern for firefighters and paramedics as many New Year celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol may impair the judgement and common sense of the most well-intentioned individual and cause injury to themselves or innocent by-standers and ignite a fire.

The Law in Prince George’s County.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." 

Remember, SAFETY FIRST, will ensure everyone goes home.

Keep in mind that other jurisdictions allow the use of certain consumer fireworks.  Do not be confused with our law in Prince George's County - all consumer fireworks are illegal.  

This is a News Release recently posted by the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

       Maryland State Fire Marshal

News Release

         STATEWIDE (December 31, 2013) – With the arrival of the New Year, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is suggesting that Marylanders should attend public fireworks displays. “I would suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the public fireworks displays offered throughout the state.” stated Geraci.  To help Marylanders enjoy a safer start to the New Year, the State Fire Marshal offers several ways to enjoy fireworks while avoiding injury:

  • Consider attending a professional public fireworks display instead of taking the chance on a potential injury from a private display.  Leave fireworks to the professionals.

     For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:

  • Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
  • Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
  • Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water or hose available
  • Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.

“Fireworks have been a long tradition of New Year’s celebrations.  Please make safety your number one priority so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.” adds the State Fire Marshal. “By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate fireworks injuries and property damage in Maryland.”


          The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering.  For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: www.mdsp.org/firemarshal and/or http://facebook.com/MarylandStateFireMarshal.
Media contact: Bruce D. Bouch, Deputy State Fire Marshal; 443-324-6876

Largo House Fire - Falcon Drive

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

Fire Fighter/Medic Sara Shaffer holds a family pet that was resuscitated after being removed from burning home.  Photo by Billy McNeel, County Citizens Services Unit.
At around 7:00 am, Tuesday, December 31, 2013, firefighter/medics were alerted to a 911 report of a house fire in the 800 block of Falcon Drive in the Largo area.  Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the basement of a 2-story single family home.

Firefighters initiated an interior attack and search of the house.  An adult male occupant, 20ish years of age, had escaped the burning home prior to the Fire/EMS Department arrival, however, sustained burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries.  He was treated by paramedics and transported to a Burn Unit with non-life threatening injuries.

Firefighters required 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.  During the search of the home four family pets, 1 dog and 3 cats, were found and removed from the house.  The cats were found lifeless and resuscitative efforts were initiated.  Firefighter/Medics were successful in reviving a cat, however, two cats perished.  The dog appeared to be in good condition.

A total of four adults will be displaced and assisted by the County Citizen Services Unit.  The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage estimates are still being tabulated.  There were no firefighter injuries reported.

PGFD Firefighter/Medics work to revive family pets.  Photo by Fire Chief Marc Bashoor
Courtesy of WUSA TV 9 News

Oxon Hill Apartment Fire - Iverson Street

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

A fire of accidental origin damaged an Oxon Hill apartment building on Monday, December 30, 2013.  At about 9:30 am firefighters from the Oxon Hill area and surrounding communities responded to 1404 Iverson Street and arrived to find a garden style apartment building with light smoke showing.

The fire started after an electrical malfunction in a bathroom ceiling.  The fire extended through the walls to upper floors before the fire was extinguished.  A fire inside of walls and floors is very work intensive as walls and floors must be removed to extinguish the fire and ensure it is out.  Fire loss is estimated at $10,000.  Medics treated one occupant suffering from difficulty breathing after being exposed to smoke inside of her apartment.  There were no transports and no other injuries reported.

It required about 30 minutes to declare the fire out.

14 apartments were declared uninhabitable.  Nine apartments are short-term displacements because of the lack of electric and gas service and 5 apartments due to damage from the fire.  The County Citizen Services Unit, complex management and the American Red Cross assisted the displaced residents.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2-Alarm Condo Fire - Brinkley Road

Over 2 dozen residents of a Temple Hills condominium building will be displaced after a 2-Alarm fire this afternoon.

At around 4:30 pm firefighters were alerted to the fire at 3122 Brinkley Road, a 3-story garden style condominium building, with fire showing from the top floor. A 2nd Alarm was quickly requested as the fire was extending in the attic of the building.

All occupants had evacuated prior to the fire departments arrival. No civilian injuries were reported, however, one firefighter sustained a knee injury and transported to an area hospital.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes. 17 adults and 10 children are displaced and that number will grow as additional residents arrive home from work. The County Citizen Services Unit and American Red Cross are assisting those displaced.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is still being estimated.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesman/PIO
Prince George's County Fire/EMS
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Upper Marlboro Man Arrested for Attempted Arson

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

Officials from the Office of the Prince George’s County Fire Marshal arrested and charged an individual with two felonies related to an incident that occurred on December 16, 2013.

On December 17, 2013, Prince George's County Fire Investigators charged and arrested Markus DeAngelo Callends, DOB 6/8/1994, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with 1st Degree Attempted Arson and Reckless Endangerment.  The incident occurred at a grocery store at 12100 Central Avenue in Bowie, MD, where the suspect is reported to have doused himself and other products in the store with an ignitable liquid and attempted to ignite but failed.

1st Degree Attempted Arson is a Felony and carries a penalty of up to $50,000 and 30 years in jail if found guilty.  Reckless Endangerment is a Felony and carries a penalty of up to $5,000 and 5 years in jail if found guilty.

Markus DeAngelo Callends was remanded to the Department of Corrections and being held on $100,000 Bond.

Internal PGFD Memo - In Search of - Fire Rescue Magazine’s “Company Officer Award of the Year”

                                 PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND

December 16, 2013

TO:        All Sworn, Civilian, and Volunteer Personnel Memo                        
FROM:   Marc S. Bashoor   original signed by
               Fire Chief
RE:    Fire Rescue Magazine’s “Company Officer Award of the Year” (AMENDED)

        Each year, Fire Rescue Magazine demonstrates its commitment to company officer development and recognition through the “Company Officer of the Year Award” that is sponsored by the American Military University—Serve, Learn, Lead.  The award honors company officers with excellent leadership skills, tactical knowledge, and community involvement.  The award is open to both sworn and volunteer members who are active lieutenants, captains, first-line supervisors, and company officers.    

        The recipient of the Company Officer of the Year Award will receive airfare, hotel and registration for FDIC, and a $1,000 cash award.  Additionally, they will also receive a scholarship that covers the cost of the Center for Public Safety Excellence Fire Officer credentialing and designation program.  Liberty Art Works will donate the physical award, the Speaking Trumpet, which is an important symbol of authority within the fire service. 

        Listed below are the “Nomination Criterions.”  Share how your nominee excels in following areas, limiting each response to 350 words.  After responding to the six criterions, you are welcome to add any other information you like about you nominee.  You may also include quotes from others if you wish, but it is not necessary. 
Nomination Criterions:

1.     Leadership – what makes the nominee an exemplary leader, and how are they regarded within the department?

2.     Training – how often does the nominee train with their crew, and how do they reinforce the importance of training/fitness for firefighter preparedness?

3.     Incident Command Effectiveness – provide an example of how the nominee demonstrated command presence at a specific incident.

4.     Commitment to Safety – how has the nominee made their crew safer, and what do they do to support a safety culture at the department?

5.     Interpersonal Communication – how effective is the nominee in communicating with firefighters, chief officers, members of the public and city/government officials?

6.     Community Involvement – what organizations and/or community activities is the nominee involved in?

        Additionally, be sure your submission contains contact information (phone number and email address) for you and the nominee’s direct supervisor.  The nominee’s information should include their name, rank, department, phone number, and email address.  

        To be considered for nomination of this prestigious award, you will need to provide documentation pertinent to the aforementioned criterions to Ms. Diane Cunningham in the Public Information office.  Station personnel are also invited submit their company officer for consideration as a nominee.  Submissions may be hand delivered or forwarded via email to dvcunningham@co.pg.md.us. 

        Please be advised that all submissions for nominees in consideration of this award are due in the Public Information by the close of business on Wednesday, January 8, 2014.  If you have questions or require additional assistance, Ms. Cunningham may be reached at 301-883-5222.     

Christmas Evening Fires Damage Homes - Upper Marlboro and Capitol Heights

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

Two fires occurring on Christmas evening destroyed homes in Upper Marlboro and Capitol Heights.  Fortunately, no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. 

The first fire was reported at about 8:40 pm in the 14900 block of Rolling Meadows Lane, an 1800 square foot, 1-story single family home. This home is located in a non-hydrant area requiring firefighters to use the water carried on their engines with additional large amounts of water shuttled to the scene by Fire Department Water Tankers.  Firefighters arrived to find fire showing from the structure and initiated an interior attack and search.  All personnel were forced to evacuate the burning home shortly afterwards.  After the bulk of the fire was knocked down from the safety of exterior positions, firefighters re-entered the structure to completely extinguish the fire.  It required 60 minutes to declare the fire under control.  Firefighters remained on the scene late into the night overhauling and ensuring the fire remained extinguished.

Fire loss is estimated at $200,000.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation and is currently classified as “undetermined.”  Two adult residents were displaced.

The second home fire occurred just before 10:30 pm at a 2-story, 900 square foot, single-family home in the 1000 block of Iago Avenue in Capitol Heights.  Firefighters arrived to find fire showing from the first floor.   Crews initiated an interior attack and a search of the interior as initial 911 calls indicated that someone may have been trapped inside the burning house.  The fire was knocked in about 20 minutes and all searches for trapped occupants were negative.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and is currently classified as “undetermined.”  Fire loss is estimated at $50,000.  Occupants displaced but did not require any assistance.