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Monday, July 27, 2015

Death Notification of Don "Patch" Aker, Jr., President of the Kentland VFD and Employee of Prince George's County Public Safety Communications Center

It is always difficult to announce the passing of a member of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Service family.  It is particularly challenging to me personally as Don "Patch" Aker, Jr. was a friend and colleague.  My personal condolences to the Aker family, Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Public Safety Communications and to everyone that knew Patch.  Rest in Peace.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department


All - please see below reference the passing of Don "Patch" Aker, Jr., President of the Kentland VFD and supervisor with the Prince George's County Public Safety Communications Center.

Don touched many of us over the years - in many cases, behind the scenes in ways most people may never fully understand.  Even as cancer impacted his livelihood, Patch continued to rally for a positive path forward for the entire Department.

Please keep the Aker family, members of the Kentland VFD, and his fellow employees at PSCC in your thoughts and prayers.

Marc Bashoor, Fire Chief
Prince George's County Fire/EMS
9201 Basil Ct. #452
Largo, MD 20774


Subject: Official Release/Notification of the passing of President/Firefighter Donald I. ("Patch") Aker, Jr.
        It is with the heaviest of hearts and the deepest of sympathies that the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Companies 33 and 46 announce the untimely passing of Corporation President/Firefighter Donald I. (Patch") Aker, Jr. For the past year and a half, President Aker valiantly battled esophageal cancer. He lost that battle this afternoon while receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins University Hospital - Bayview Medical Center. 

        "Patch" as he was known throughout the fire service joined the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Company 33, in September of 1998. He received his "Life Member" status in the same month of 2008. During his continuous, uninterrupted service at Company 33, he attained the rank of Lieutenant and served in the prestigious position of Corporation President since 2008. Prior to being a member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., he was a member of the West Lanham Hills VFD, Company 28 and a member of the Prince George's County Fire Department's "High School Cadet" program. He was a life long resident of Prince George's County, Maryland, growing-up in New Carollton, attending Parkdale High School and currently resided in the City of Bowie.

        For nearly 20-years, he worked as a dedicated employee with the Prince George's County Public Safety Communications. Serving in capacities as an Emergency Call Taker, Police Department Dispatcher, Fire Department Dispatcher and Training Director.

As of the writing of this, arrangements are being planned and will be distributed to the public once they are available. The leadership of the department (KVFD) has established an "Incident Command" style of funeral management and will be coordinating all events, information exchange, etc. 

        We ask that everyone keep the family, friends, co-wokers and fellow firemen of President Aker in your thoughts and prayers. This is a deep loss for not only the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., but the fire service as a whole.

Tony Kelleher
Chief 33
Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Companies 33 and 46

District Heights House Fire Ruled ARSON - Walters Place

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 District Heights house that appears to have been intentionally set.  On Sunday, July 26, just before 8 pm, firefighters responded to 911 calls reporting a fire inside of a vacant 2-story single family home at 6515 Walters Place.  Firefighters arrived to find fire showing from the second floor with extension into the attic.

Despite being reported as a vacant structure firefighters still completed a search of the interior.  The 40 firefighters and medics on the scene controlled the fire within 15 minutes of arrival.  No injuries were reported.

Fire Investigators from the County Office of the Fire Marshal conducted a cause and origin investigation and determined the fire was incendiary and started in a 2nd floor bedroom.  Fire loss is estimated at $10,000.

Investigators heard many reports from members of the community that people were in and out of the house since it became vacant.  Real Estate web sites list the property as “bank owned” and most utilities had been shut off, including the water that supplies the residential sprinkler system. 

Residential sprinklers are designed to extinguish a fire in its incipient stages and allow extra time for occupants to escape.  It’s difficult to say what impact a working sprinkler system would have had on this incident but odds are the fire would have been suppressed and not grown in intensity.  The house also was not equipped with smoke alarms, as they all had been removed.

Fire Investigators are asking that anyone with information about this fire and the person(s) responsible to contact them at 301-77-ARSON  (301-772-7766) or Email at 77ARSON@co.pg.md.us.  Callers may remain anonymous.

Conditions on arrival. (image by Paul Hawkins)

(Image by Paul Hawkins)