Riverdale House Fire with Civilian Rescue - Sheridan Street

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

A Riverdale mother and daughter have many reasons to be thankful today.  Thankful for a working smoke alarm and firefighters that arrived quickly, rushed into their burning home and rescued the unconscious critically injured mother.  Just after 4:30 am, November 23, a fire appears to have started in the kitchen of their 1 ½ -story, Cape Cod style, single-family home in the 6300 block of Sheridan Street. 

A working smoke alarm alerted the occupants and they started to make their way outside to safety.  The mother uses a wheelchair and was unable to successfully make her way out of a hospital bed in the burning home even with her daughter’s assistance.  The elder female called 911 and quickly explained the situation while her daughter ran to a neighbor’s house for help.  Neighbors were awakened to find fire coming from the rear of their neighbor’s house made additional 911 calls.

A Public Safety Communication 911 call taker talking to the trapped woman detailed information about the location of the occupant to dispatchers by way of the computer aided dispatch system.  Dispatchers provided the updates by way of the radio to responding firefighters.  Just before firefighters arrived the 911-call taker could only hear silence as the female went unconscious.  The next sound she heard over the open 911-phone line was that of firefighters radios.

Within minutes after being dispatched an unconscious female had been located and removed to the homes exterior by firefighters.  Awaiting medics treated the critically injured patient and transported her to an area Burn Unit.  The daughter sustained minor injuries and transported to a local hospital.  Good news from the Burn Unit was that the female’s condition had improved from Critical to Serious and Stable and is expected to survive her injuries.

The fire consumed the rear portion of the home with high heat and thick smoke throughout the structure.  The fire was extinguished within 12 minutes of arrival.

While the area of origin appears to be the first floor kitchen the official cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Fire loss is estimated at $50,000.

Firefighters returned to the Riverdale neighborhood this afternoon armed with fire safety information and boxes of new 10-year smoke alarms.  Firefighters went door-to-door answering neighbor’s questions about the fire and checking smoke alarms to ensure they were working.  If a home was found without a working smoke alarm a new alarm was installed and tested before firefighters left the house.

Smoke alarms should be tested on the first day of every month and replaced after 10 years of use.  Only 10-year smoke alarms should be used to replace older alarms.  Any Prince George’s County resident needing a new alarm can call 311 and ask about our smoke alarm program. 

A home escape plan that identifies 2 ways out of every room in your house with a designated meeting place outside should also be in place and practiced at least twice a year.

The rear portion of the house, where the kitchen is located, sustained the majority of the fire damge

Firefighters went door-to-door checking for working smoke alarms in neighborhood where the fire occurred today.

Firefighters went door-to-door checking for working smoke alarms in neighborhood where the fire occurred today.

Firefighters went door-to-door checking for working smoke alarms in neighborhood where the fire occurred today.