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Saturday, April 18, 2015

2-Alarm Oxon Hill Apartment Fire Displaces 27 Residents - No Injuries

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

Conditions on arrival.
Photo by PGFD Firefighter James Williams
Prince George’s County Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in an Oxon Hill apartment building this morning.  Just after 8:00 am, Saturday, April 19, firefighter/medics were alerted to a fire at 5512 Livingston Terrace.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a 3-story garden style apartment building in The Oaks at Park South complex with fire showing from a top floor unit with extension up into and through the roof.

Anticipating heavy fire conditions on the upper floor and roof  a 2nd alarm was immediately requested bringing additional fire/EMS resources to the scene.

Firefighters advanced hose lines into the building and up to the top floor and started to extinguish the fire.  Other firefighters were performing a systematic search of the entire building. Prior to the Fire Department arrival, a resident activated the buildings internal fire alarm bells alerting occupants to evacuate.  Fortunately, all the occupants had exited the building safely.

Firefighters soon discovered the fire had started in a utility closet housing the heat and air conditioning unit  (HVAC) on the balcony.  Fire extended upward and caused significant damage to the roof of the building.  Smoke alarms inside apartments did not sound a warning because the heat and smoke bypassed the interior and went straight from the balcony utility closet to the roof.

It required about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire with the majority knocked down by the first arriving crews.  Some 2nd Alarm units assisted with salvage and overhaul.

Five apartments are uninhabitable.  Displaced residents include 13 adults and 14 children.  The displaced residents are being assisted by a combination of the American Red Cross, County Citizen Services Unit and apartment complex management.

The cause of the fire is listed as accidental and attributed to a malfunctioning HVAC unit.  Fire loss is estimated at $250,000.