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Monday, March 23, 2015

Combined County Public Safety Resources Help Prevent Injuries and Provide Shelter in Townhouse Fire

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in a 2-story, middle of the row, Temple Hills townhouse early this morning.

Just after 12:30 am, Monday, March 23, an initial report of the fire was made by police officers that radioed in that smoke was coming from a townhouse in the 2800 block of Iverson Street.  Fire/EMS units arrived quickly and encountered heavy smoke coming from the front side of a townhouse with fire showing from the rear.

Prince George’s County Police Officers were the first to discover the fire and immediately notified Public Safety Communications by way of their radios and initiated an evacuation of sleeping residents from the townhouses closest to the one on fire.

The fire appears to have started in a kitchen of the townhouse of origin and quickly spread to the second floor and attic area.  Firefighters ensured the fire was completely extinguished and limited the extension of fire to adjacent homes through extensive overhaul and inspection of interior walls and ceilings

The County Police continued to radio updates about the conditions on the scene that were relayed by police dispatchers via computer aided dispatch system to fire dispatchers that broadcast the updates to the incident commander and responding firefighters.  The radio updates were useful in allowing the incident commander an opportunity to formulate a plan of attack before arriving on the scene.

It required about 20 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the work intensive fire.

Fortunately, through the combined efforts of police, firefighters, dispatchers and our Citizen Services Unit, no injuries were reported and displaced residents are receiving assistance.  One occupant was evaluated by medics but did not go to the hospital.  All occupants were able to safely escape thanks to the early notifications by police.

The occupants from the row of eight townhouses will be displaced, some just for the short-term.  A total of 22 residents, 11 adults and 11 children are displaced.  The County Citizen Services Unit and the American Red Cross are providing temporary relief for 8 of those residents.  Other displaced residents made their own arrangements.

Fire Investigators are still searching for the cause of the fire and have labeled this incident as “under investigation.”  Included in this investigation is the presence and status of smoke alarms.  Estimated fire loss is placed at $200,000.