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Sunday, July 19, 2015

PGFD Firefighters Battle Two Fires Sunday Afternoon

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

Anyone that has spent anytime outside today knows how 100 to 110 degrees feels.   It is hot and uncomfortable and difficult to deal with for long periods of time.  How do you think running into a burning home where temperatures are anywhere from 800 to 1200 degrees wearing multiple layers of heavy personal protective gear??   That is life in the day of a firefighter and in Prince George’s County today firefighters battled two homes fires.  Both fires had accidental causes.
The first incident occurred just after 12 Noon in Upper Marlboro.  Several 911 calls were received from neighbors reporting a house was on fire in the 9800 block of Healy Court.  Firefighters arrived to find a split-level home with fire showing from the top floor and roof.  Firefighters searched the home and found no human occupants but did rescue one dog suffering from burns.   The fire started in the top-level kitchen and extended into the attic and eventually burned through the roof of the house. 

There were 41 firefighters on the scene that required about 30 minutes to completely extinguish the fire that caused an estimated $100,000 in fire loss.  A second dog was found deceased inside the house.  The County Citizen Services Unit will assist the displaced occupants.

Fire Investigators performed a cause and origin investigation and determined the fire started on the stove in the kitchen.  The homeowners arrived on the scene during the incident and told Investigators that their pet dogs had been known to jump on the front of the stove in search of food scraps and in doing so, turn on one of the burners.  Today, pizza boxes were on the stovetop and one of the burners was found in the “on” position.  Fire Investigators have labeled this fire as “accidental.”

Due to todays high temperatures all firefighters were rotated a rehab area where they were provided hydration and allowed to cool down.  Medics would evaluate the firefighters vital signs and would release them to go back to work once within normal limits.  One firefighter was found to be suffering from dehydration and treated at an area hospital and released.

The second incident occurred in Bowie at around 2:40 pm.  An occupant of a 3-story townhouse in the 6300 block of Gwinnett Lane was alerted to a fire on the top floor by a working smoke alarm.  911 was called and firefighters arrived a short time later to find residential sprinklers had, for the most part, extinguished the fire.  Firefighters ensured the fire was completely out and ventilated the residual smoke.

Due to the relatively small nature of the fire thanks to containment by the sprinklers, firefighters were able to return to service very quickly, no one was injured, no displacement and fire loss was limited to $1,000.

The cause of the fire is accidental and attributed to a malfunction in an electrical outlet.

Conditions on arrival on Healy court. (Image by Michael White - Morningside)

Image from the front of Healy Court during initial operations.  (by Michael White-Morningside)

Firefighter Bowen, District Heights Truck 826, is thanks by Healy Court homeowner for rescuing his pet dog.
(Image by PGFD)