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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

1-Year Anniversary of Riverdale Arson Fire - Remains Under Investigation

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

The one-year anniversary of an intentionally set fire at a Riverdale home injuring seven firefighters is just days away. The Fire Department is asking for help from members of the community to help us bring this case to a close with fire investigators making arrests. Currently the case remains open and under investigation.

An arson fire occurred in a vacant home at 6404 57th Avenue in Riverdale on Friday, February 24, 2012, just after 9:00 pm. One of the firefighters, Bladensburg Volunteer Sergeant Kevin O’Toole continues to recover from his injuries and has not been able to return to full duty. Fire Investigators have thoroughly looked into all of the evidence and leads and will require additional help from the public to help close this case.

The investigation remains open and on-going in the hopes of identifying the person(s) responsible for setting this fire. We believe that someone has information that could lead investigators to identifying the arsonist. We encourage anyone that has any information about this fire to please call our fire investigators. Even the smallest detail could be important to solving this case. Please call and help us identify who is responsible for injuring seven firefighters and destroying this house.

A reward is available for information leading to an arrest. We are asking for the community‘s involvement and assistance in helping to identify the person(s) responsible for setting this fire. If you have information about this incident, call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). You may also send your tips, SECURELY and ANONYMOUSLY, via TEXT MESSAGE by typing "PGPD" plus your message, and sending it from your cell phone to "CRIMES" (274637). If your information leads the capture of whoever is responsible for this crime, you may be eligible for a CASH REWARD up to $1,000.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has also set up a separate reward. To be eligible for their $5,000 reward you should call 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473).

The Prince George’s County Arson Tip Line will also accept information at 301-77-ARSON, or email at 77ARSON@co.pg.md.us.

Bowie House Fire - Peachtree Lane

Photo by Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth McSwain
Photo by Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth McSwain
                          MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics were alerted to a report of a fire at a Bowie home in the 1800 block of Peachtree Lane this morning. Firefighters arrived to find a house well involved with fire.

Fire/EMS units were alerted at about 5:00 am and arrived to find a 3100 square foot, 2-story, single family home with heavy fire showing. The home occupant, an adult male, had escaped safely prior to the Fire Department arrival. A combination of a working smoke alarm and neighbors banging on the door alerted the occupant who escaped without injury.

A "Task Force" was sounded early in the incident which summoned additional firefighters and apparatus. There were 35 firefighter/medics on the scene battling the fire. Due to heavy fire conditions the bulk of the fire was extinguished from the safety of exterior positions. The rear wall of the structure, the main and second floors as well as portions of the sides of the house, attic and roof either were burned away or collapsed into the basement of the house.

It required nearly an hour to extinguish the bulk of the fire. No injuries were reported. Two residents normally reside at the house; however, only one person was at home this morning. The displaced occupants will be staying with other family members as this house is a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation with fire loss estimated at $400,000 to the structure and contents.

Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of surviving a home fire by 50%. Every home, by law, is required to have a working smoke alarm. The Fire/EMS Department recommends a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and if you sleep with your bedroom doors closed; install a working smoke alarm in your bedroom.

This home on Peachtree Lane in the Tall Oaks Crossing community was permitted and built in the late 1980's. In the early 1990's a law went into effect in Prince George's requiring all newly constructed residences to have a residential sprinkler system installed.