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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Suitland Apartment Fire - Southern Avenue

Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @pgfdpio

Prince George’s County Firefighters battled a fire in a Suitland apartment building this evening that could displace as many as 50 occupants.  At about 6:15 pm, Tuesday, March 31, firefighters and medics were alerted to a terrace level apartment on fire at 3913 Southern Avenue, a 3-story garden-style apartment building.  Firefighters arrived to find fire showing from an apartment on the ground level rear side and immediately went to work.

Firefighters searched eleven apartments and found that all occupants had escaped safely.  The fire was located and quickly extinguished.  There was some extension to the apartment above on the 1st floor that was also extinguished.  Fortunately, no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

11 apartments in the building of origin will be displaced mostly due to the loss of electric and gas utility services.  An attached apartment building, 11 apartment units, may also be displaced if the utility services cannot be isolated to just the one building.  If both buildings remain without utilities than as many as 50 occupants could be displaced.  The County Citizens Services Unit and the American Red Cross are working with apartment complex management to assist the displaced occupants.

Fire Investigators believe a juvenile male under the age of 10 started the fire.  The child was cited and released to the custody of his parents.  Investigators will work with the family by providing referral services for juvenile fire setting.  Fire loss for the building and contents is estimated at $50,000.

Firefighters Awarded for Efforts by National Archives

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

Several firefighters were presented with certificates today in recognition of their efforts in extinguishing a fire at the National Archives in College Park.

The event was held at the impressive and beautiful National Archives in College Park and included dozens of employees along with career and volunteer firefighters in the audience.  Kevin A. McCoy, Director, Security National Archives and Records Administration at the College Park Facility opened the awards ceremony and said;

I want to welcome all to this presentation this morning, especially those who will receive special recognition on behalf of The Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, and Chief Operating Officer Jay Bosanko.  

Mr Chuck Piercy, Chief Security Officer
and Fire Chief Bashoor exchange challenge coins
Leading the ceremony today is Mr. Chuck Piercy, our Chief Security Officer with the assistance of Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.  Supporting the ceremony is Mr. Will Fletcher Lead Security Specialist for Archives II and Ms. Paula Ayres our Personnel Security Officer, who is also a long time volunteer member of the Bladensburg Fire Department.

To begin this ceremony, please allow me to Quote President George W. Bush at a ceremony honoring fire fighters after 911:

 “Fire-fighting is a hard and demanding job.  And it may at any moment send a person to the high heat or thick smoke.  It's been said that a firefighter's first act of bravery is taking the oath to serve.  And all of them serve, knowing that one day they may not come home.”

We at the National Archives at College Park are grateful for your bravery in the suppression of a vehicle fire in our parking structure. Many of us are probably not aware of how quickly such a vehicle fire can get out of control and spread in a parking structure, with thousands of gallons of fuel in over 300 vehicles.

We at the Archives are the stewards of some of our Nation’s most importing holdings in this Archives building and without your quick response those holdings may have been put at risk.
These certificates and challenge coins we present here today represent our gratitude for your bravery and service to not only our agency, but the occupants of this facility, and members of our county, state and nation as a whole.

Firefighters received a certificate reading;

“On September 16, 2014, in less than 7 minutes, Engine 811, Truck 812, Truck 814 and Engine 834 arrived at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park in response to our 9-1-1 call. The array of career and volunteer Fire Fighter and Paramedic crews quickly and effectively engaged and extinguished the multiple car blazes in the parking structure. The cohesive efforts of all responders resulted in limiting damage to only 4 vehicles, when the potential existed for over $16,000,000 in loss. Your personal contribution to the team effort was instrumental in preventing this incident from becoming a catastrophic event and reflects great credit upon yourself, your Station, Company and Battalion. The preservation of life and property at NARA is a direct result of dedicated people like you serving our country in extraordinary ways.  Your exceptional performance is sincerely appreciated and we wish you the best in your future endeavors."

The following personal received recognition;

4th Battalion Chief Brian Frankel
Engine 834 Chillum-Adelphi
Lieutenant Israel S. Tabak                                          Fire Fighter Thomas Rhodes
Fire Fighter John Inman                                              Fire Fighter Miguel Ocasio
Engine 811 Branchville
Chief Richard Leizear                                                 Fire Fighter Ronald Leizear
Fire Fighter Robert Lopaz                                          Fire Fighter Orville Saunders
Fire Fighter Robert Stahl
Truck 812 College Park
Volunteer Chief William Corrigan                              Volunteer Captain Matthew Machala
Paramedic Captain Steve Brown                                Paramedic Technician Chris Brooks
Fire Fighter Bryan Anderson                                      Fire Fighter Chad Haden
Truck 814 Berwyn Heights
Lieutenant Vincent Verdero                                       Fire Fighter Michael Parker
Fire Fighter Steven Reeves
At the conclusion of award presentation, Fire Chief Bashoor stated, "it is unusual for another agency or an entity outside of Fire/EMS to take the time to recognize the efforts of firefighters and that this event and recognition was very much appreciated."