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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MEDIA OP - Branchville Volunteers Deliver Thanksgiving Food Baskets to Families in Need

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

In what has become an annual tradition just before the Thanksgiving Holiday a volunteer fire/EMS department is preparing to do more.  The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc. is an all-volunteer department that operates within the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS combined system.  The station is located in North College Park.

The volunteer membership has received a list of pre-identified families from a local public elementary school that are in need of assistance in order to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family and loved ones.

The membership, including the Departments Ladies Auxiliary, will gather at the station on Sunday, November 23, at about 10:30 am to fill 16 food baskets with items purchased by the station.  Items include food products typically served on Thanksgiving including turkeys with all the trimmings. 

At about 1:00 pm, the food baskets will be loaded on-board Branchvilles Fire/EMS apparatus with the caravan of units departing to personally visit each of the 16 homes located within a short distance over the next couple of hours to deliver the bountiful food baskets.

While firefighters are making their visits they will also check the families smoke alarms.  If an alarm is absent or found non-working a new 10-year smoke alarm will be installed by firefighters, free of charge.

Branchville Volunteer President Ron Leizear Sr. stated, “We are doing our part as a member of the community to make the Thanksgiving Holiday festive and joyful for those that need some assistance.  Providing these baskets makes our membership feel as thankful as the families we visit, truly a wonderful event for everyone involved.”

The Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc. has extended an invitation to members of the media that may want to cover this story of giving and thanks. 

WHAT:            Thanksgiving Food Basket Delivery

WHEN:            Sunday, November 23,
                        10:30 am – filling the food baskets at the Fire/EMS Station
                        1:00 pm – departing station with 16 food baskets to make deliveries
                        (1st delivery will have media clearance pre-arranged)

WHERE:         Branchville Volunteer Fire/EMS Station
                        4905 Branchville Road, College Park, MD 20740

WHO:              Volunteer members of Branchville and pre-identified 16 families 

Discarded Fireplace Ashes Reignite Damaging Bowie Home

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

A fire of accidental origin caused significant damage to a Bowie home and required the family to be relocated.  Their misfortune, while extremely unfortunate, should serve as a timely reminder for others of how to stay warm safely during our cold winter months.

Just after 1:30 pm, Tuesday, November 18, a 911 caller informed call takers the rear of a neighbor’s house was on fire.  Firefighters responded and arrived quickly at a 2-story single-family home in the 14000 block of Heatherstone Drive with heavy smoke coming from the rear.

A quick primary search of the home indicated no occupants were inside.  Firefighters encountered a fire in a converted garage to living area and the rear deck on fire.  The fire was contained within 10 minutes of arrival.

Upon investigation it was determined that fireplace ashes discarded into a plastic container sitting on the wooden deck was the cause of the fire.  The fire caused $75,000 in estimated fire loss.  Tuesdays wind was a likely factor in the reheating and ignition of the plastic container and wooden deck.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.  The family made their own alternate living arrangements, as the house is uninhabitable until some repairs are made.

Fireplace ashes can remain capable of reigniting for hours after you think they have stopped burning.   The Fire/EMS Department recommends fireplace ashes be discarded into a sturdy metal container with a lid and stored outdoors on a concrete surface at least 10 feet away from anything combustible.  These ashes can be wet down and left outdoors for several days before discarding. 

Stay Warm Safely!!!

All images provided courtesy of Mark Brady, PGFD PIO

PGFD "Stay Warm Safely" Cold Weather Tip of the Day

PGFD "Stay Warm Safely" Cold Weather Tip of the Day

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor says, "Overloading power-strips will cause overheating and fire.  Distribute plug-in items to different receptacles."

"Heaters should be at LEAST 3 feet away from any combustibles."

Do not do this!!!!!