MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
A Prince George's County Firefighter is being released from the Burn Unit today after being seriously injured in a 2-Alarm fire on Thursday.
Just after 11:00 am, Thursday, August 20, 23-year-old Fire Fighter Zachary R. Proffen was on-board the first arriving engine at an apartment building fire in Laurel. Proffen and other crew members advanced a hose line up three flights and into the apartment on fire. A majority of the fire had been knocked down by the crew and they were repositioning their attack line to reach the bedroom in the very back of the apartment.
Conditions inside were hot, almost untenable, at around an estimated 800 degrees, when the burn injuries to Proffen hands, ears, chest and arms occurred. He left the burning apartment and was immediately tended to by paramedics.
Fire Fighter Proffen has been hospitalized at the Burn Unit of the Medstar Washington Hospital Center since Thursday. He was treated for 2nd and 3rd degree burns to both hands, 2nd degree burns to his ears and 1st and 2nd degree burns to his arms another parts of his body. He has undergone several treatments including painful skin graphs.
During his stay Proffen was in the presence of family, IAFF Local 1619 members, DC Fire Fighters Burn Foundation and members of the Fire/EMS Department command staff.
He was released today, Saturday, and will need to follow-up with numerous visits to the Burn Unit for treatment. He is not expected to return to full duty for an extended period of time.
The Department would like to thank members of the DC Fire Fighters Burn Foundation for their assistance with Proffen during his time at the Burn Unit.
As Fire Fighter Proffen was being released from the Burn Unit on Saturday another PGFD Fire Fighter was flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. A Fire Lieutenant was involved in battling a 2-alarm townhouse fire in Suitland in the 4200 block of Apple Orchard Lane. Debris from the roof/attic area fell on this firefighter causing injury. He was flown to Shock Trauma for a possible C-spin injury.