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Monday, January 4, 2016

Accokeek House Fire - Jamies Way

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

A large home is a total loss after a fire this morning in Accokeek.  At around 7:00 am, Monday, January 4, firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 15400 block of Jamies Way.  Firefighters from the Accokeek Fire/EMS Station arrived first and reported a 2-story house with fire showing from both floors.  Other arriving firefighters on the rear of the house reported similar information and that fire was showing from the basement of the home as well.  Within a short period of time of arrival a collapse of the 1st floor occurred, fortunately, no firefighters were inside at the time.

Because this area did not have any water hydrants in the immediate vicinity a water supply task force was sounded sending several water tankers to the scene.  Water Tankers or Water Tenders, carrying upwards of 2,000+ gallons of water each, reported to the scene and provided water into a system of portable tanks that supplied water to the firefighters.
With the exception of the first few minutes of arrival the fire was fought from the safety of exterior positions.

There was one occupant at home who noticed the fire and was able to escape safely with two dogs.  The house was built in 1999 and is over 4200 square feet.  The home was equipped with both smoke alarms and a residential sprinkler system.  Part of the fire departments investigation will be to determine the role of sprinklers at this incident.  It is apparent that the volume of fire encountered by firefighters was enough to overwhelm the sprinkler system.

The fire burned for more than 90 minutes and totally gutted the house.  What did not burn off from the roof and 1st and 2nd floors collapsed into the basement.  Fortunately, there were no civilian or firefighter injuries.  A preliminary fire loss is estimated at $1.5 million.  The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation.  Considering the damage to the structure and amount of debris in the basement it will be sometime before fire investigators can safely make entry.

The family of 2 adults and 2 dogs were assisted by the County Office of Emergency Management Citizen Service’s unit and will be making their own living arrangements.

15400 block of Jamies Way.  Photo by PGFD DFC Ben Barksdale

image provided courtesy of Brad Freitas

Water Tanker fills portable tank on Jamies Way.  Image provided courtesy of Brad Freitas

Image provided courtesy of Brad Freitas

Image provided courtesy of Brad Freitas

Female Seen in Image Protected by Her Pit Bull Arrested for Arson

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

A Landover Hills female has been charged with multiple crimes after an investigation of a fire at her residence.  On December 2, officials from the Prince George’s County Office of the Fire Marshal were conducting a cause and origin investigation at a house fire in the 4800 block of 66th Place in Landover Hills that occurred around 1:00 am.  An adult male sustained minor burn injuries during this fire and was treated and released from a Burn Unit.  A female was transported from the scene to an area hospital for a medical evaluation.  During this investigation Investigators discovered evidence of an unreported fire that occurred the day before on December 1.

The unreported fire that occurred on December 1 was determined to be arson in an occupied home.  April Newell, 34 years of age, a resident of the house was identified as a suspect.  Arrest warrants were obtained on December 5th charging her with:

Arson – 1st Degree - A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

Arson – 2nd Degree – A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of $30,000.

Arson Threat - A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.

Malicious Burning – 1st Degree - Damage value at more than $1,000, this offense carries a potential 5-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine.

Malicious Burning – 2nd Degree - Damage value at less than $1,000, a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, penalties are up to 18 months in jail and $500 in fines.

The Office of the Prince George's County Fire Marshal confirmed that April Newell was arrested during the morning of December 31, 2015.  She is currently being held on a $500,000 Bond.

The fire that occurred on December 2nd at the same house remains under investigation.

A image from the scene captured the family Pit Bull standing guard over what appeared to be an unconscious female in a neighbors front yard on the morning of the still under investigation December 2nd fire.  The female was arrested for an unreported fire that occurred at the same location on December 1st.  The dog was subsequently captured and housed by County Animal Management Division and released to an out-of-county relative the next day.

April Newell lays in the front yard of a neighbor protected by her Pit Bull during the December 2 fire which remains undetermined and under investigation.
(Photo Credit to Billy McNeel - County Citizen Services Unit.)

April Newell, 34 years of age, of Landover Hills charged with multiple crimes after an arson fire at her residence on December 1, 2015.