MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Two residents of a Temple Hills apartment required assistance in escaping a fire this morning. At around 12:15 am firefighters were alerted to an apartment fire in the 4500 block of 23rd Parkway. Fire/EMS units arrived at a 3-story garden style apartment building with smoke coming out of a 2nd floor apartment. Two residents of a third floor unit could not escape by way of the stairwell due to the high heat and thick smoke so they retreated to their exterior balcony.
As one crew of firefighters went to locate and extinguish the fire on the 2nd floor another crew used ladders to remove the 3rd floor occupants to safety. A complete search of the building determined all other occupants were able to escape safely before the Fire Departments arrival. The fire was extinguished within 8 minutes of arrival.
The fire appears to have originated in an apartments living room. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $10,000. Occupants of 2 apartments are displaced as a result of the fire. A total of 5 adults and 3 children did not require assistance of the Citizen Services Unit or the Red Cross and made their own temporary living arrangements.
Remember to plan an escape from your home that identifies 2 ways out of every room. Practice your plan several times a year and include a safe meeting place outside. Once outside - stay outside.
Retreating to the balcony in an apartment building is certainly an acceptable means of egress. If you need to use your balcony remember to close the door behind you and do everything you can to catch the attention of someone on the ground by shouting or waving. Await the fire departments arrival for rescue. If you have your phone with you, call 911 and inform call takers of your exact location.