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Monday, February 10, 2014

Working Smoke Alarm Alerts Occupants - Sprinklers Douse Flames

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

It was a tragedy in the making but safety features mandated by County Law eliminated any loss of life, occupant injuries and high dollar loss to the structure.

It was about 1:30 am, Monday, February 10, and occupants of a Mitchellville home were sound asleep.  A fire in a basement bedroom ignited and slowly grew in intensity.  Smoke poured out of the bedroom and started to fill the basement level and make it’s way upstairs where everyone, including the dog, remained asleep.  A working smoke alarm quickly detected the smoke and emitted a clear and crisp warning.  The occupants were awakened by the sounding smoke alarm, smelled the smoke and exited the structure.  The heat in the bedroom reached the point where the residential sprinkler system activated and started to douse the flames.

Firefighters responded to the home in the 11400 block of Canterbury Court, a 2-story, 3180 sq. ft. single family home, and extinguished the smoldering debris.

What could have been a tragedy and high dollar loss incident was minimized with everyone getting out alive and fire loss estimated at $5,000.  The 3 adult occupants and dog were assisted with temporary shelter but will be back in their home in a matter of days and not weeks, months or longer.

Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of surviving a fire by about 50%.  Having a planned and practiced home escape, with 2 ways out of every room, is critical in survival.  A residential sprinkler system provides a few extra precious moments to escape your home and will minimize the amount of fire loss.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  A firefighter sustained an injured leg after a slip and fall on ice.  He was treated and released from an area hospital.

A new County Law will soon require the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes meeting specified criteria.  The law will go into effect on July 1, 2014.  It’s another law we can live with.