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Friday, January 25, 2013

Busy Days for Firefighter/Medics - Remember Safety First!!!

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

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics have battled six home fires in just over a 24-hour period.  The six home fires caused nearly $400,000 in estimated fire loss and critically injured one civilian.  Without question sub-freezing temperatures and home occupants trying to stay warm have contributed to the cause of some of these incidents.  These unfortunate and tragic occurrences of fire should serve as a reminder to our citizens, visitors and businesses that everyone should follow and exercise appropriate safety measures while cooking and using heating appliances to stay warm. 

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA) fires in one and two family dwellings account for 67 percent of all winter residential building fires.  Although at it’s highest in December, residential building fire incidence is collectively highest in the 3 winter months of January, February, and March.  Cooking remains the number one cause of fires, however, heating related fires are a close second and account for more fire related injuries and fatalities.

These incidents occurred within 27 hours over Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday, January 23, 6:30 pm.  A malfunctioning chimney was responsible for a fire in a townhouse in the 15500 block of Empress Way in Bowie.  Two adults and seven children were displaced and fire loss estimated at $75,000.

Thursday, January 24, 10:50 am.  An 82-year-old female occupant was rescued by firefighters from her burning home in the 3500 block of Everest Drive in Temple Hills.  The patient remains in critical condition.  The fire appears to have started in a first floor bedroom.  The cause of this fire is under investigation with fire loss estimated at $150,000.

Thursday, January 24, 12:15 pm.  A space heater is believed to have ignited a fire in the basement of a single-family home in the 2800 block of Curtis Drive in Temple Hills.  No one was home at the time the fire started.  Two occupants are displaced with fire loss estimated at $75,000. 

Thursday, January 24, 2:19 pm.  Unattended cooking is to blame for a kitchen fire at a single-family home in the 12500 block of Keynote Lane in Bowie.  Combustibles near the stove top ignited causing $10,000 in estimated fire loss.  The adult female occupant was not injured.

Thursday, January 24, 6:21 pm.  A malfunctioning wood burning stove and chimney are believed to have contributed to a fire in a single-family home in the 8100 block of Neville Place in Fort Washington.  Fire loss is estimated at $50,000.

Thursday, January 24, 9:30 pm.  A chimney fire that extended into an attached garage is a being investigated as a possible cause of a fire at a single-family home in the 12300 block of Lanham-Severn Road in Bowie.  The fire caused an estimated $25,000 in fire loss.  The official cause remains under investigation.

These six incidents only capture incidents that caused a significant fire loss and injury during this time period.  There have been additional incidents involving heating appliances; space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces/chimney that are not included in this summary.

The civilian, career and volunteer men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you and your families to stay safe.  Please watch this USFA Public Service Announcement and share it with others, it might just save a life!!!

Remember to always have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home.  Have a home escape plan in the event of a fire and practice the plan with everyone in your home.  Always watch what you heat – if you are cooking or trying to stay warm – keep Safety First to ensure everyone goes home.

This Temple Hills home on Curtis Drive sustained $75,000 in fire loss.

A Fire investigators looks at a space heater believed to have been the cause of the fire on Curtis Drive.

Firefighters rescued an 82 year-old female from this Temple hills home on Everest Drive.  The cause of this fire remains under investigation.  The female remains in critical condition.

Fire Investigators search for a cause of fire in first floor bedroom on Everest Drive.