MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Firefighters rescued an unconscious occupant of a burning District Heights home on Friday evening. Firefighters and Paramedics were alerted to a house fire with the possibility of a senior citizen occupant trapped inside on Friday, October 17, at about 7:45 pm.
A passerby witnessed the fire and called 911 using their cell phone. Firefighters from the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department and Morningside Volunteer Fire/EMS Department, just 2 of the 7 stations dispatched, were the first to arrive and at about the same time at a 2-story, split foyer, single-family home in the 1100 block of Waterford Drive in District Heights. Firefighters encountered fire and smoke showing from the upper level and initiated an aggressive interior attack on the fire as well as a search of the structure for the reported trapped occupant.
Almost immediately an unconscious male was located by firefighters in the foyer by the front door. He was removed to the front yard where paramedics from the District Heights Fire/EMS Station initiated medical care. The victim was transported to a nearby Trauma Center in critical condition.
Firefighters made quick work of the fire in the kitchen/dining/living room area and had the fire extinguished within minutes of arrival. A smoke alarm was found inside the house, however, fire investigators could not determine if the alarm was in working condition or if it played a role in alerting the occupant.
A follow-up report from the Trauma Center indicated the victim displayed rapid signs of improvement, regained consciousness and was breathing on his own. His condition was upgraded to fair.
Fire Investigators continue their work to determine the cause of the fire and will wait to talk with the occupant before making a final determination. Fire loss is estimated at $75,000.
Citizens and residents that are in need of a working smoke alarm and cannot afford to purchase one themselves are encouraged to call our Safety First Smoke Alarm Program. To initiate this service simply call 311 or 301-864-SAFE (7233) or click here to request one on-line. A Firefighter/Medic will visit your home and install a new 10-year, tamper proof with hush feature alarm for free. This also applies if you are in need of a battery. Energizer Battery recently donated 5000 batteries to the Fire/EMS Department and we will come to your house and install them in your battery-powered alarms at no cost to you.
Remember to test your alarms on the Safety First Day of every month.
Replace batteries when you adjust your clocks. (November 2)
Replace your alarms if they are 10 years old or older.
Consider replacing your battery-powered alarms with a 10-year smoke and CO alarms.