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Saturday, January 23, 2016

PGFD - Commercial Building Fire - 4600 Silver Hill Road

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 carpet store this evening during a blizzard.  At about 6:30 pm fire/EMS units were alerted to a commercial building fire at 4600 Silver Hill Road in Suitland.  Units reported a 1-story, former gas station converted to a carpet store, with wind-driven heavy fire showing.  Firefighters took a defensive position and battled the fire from the exterior.  Within a short period of time a partial collapse of the structure occurred.  The store was not open today.

The bulk of the fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes.  Hot spots continued to be extinguished for an extended period as entry into the structure was not possible due to instability of the structure. 

Despite upwards of 20 inches of fresh snow and high winds there were no reported injuries.


The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is still being tabulated.

After the Winter Storm

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

Just because the snow has stopped falling, or will very soon, the storm is not over.  High gusty winds are forecast through the day Sunday and there is plenty of clean-up yet to be done.  This was a big snow storm and big work is needed before everything returns to somewhat normal.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department urges everyone to remain at home until transportation and public safety officials give the “all-clear” for driving.   There are still several precautions to take after the winter storm is over.

Our Department of Public Works, state Highway Administration and municipalities have been doing tremendous job in clearing roads so public safety vehicles can pass.  It is reasonable to believe that most primary and secondary roads will have some lanes passable on Sunday.  Neighborhood roads as well as parking lots could be snow covered into the early part of the week.  Driving will be of primary concern.  Pedestrians will resort to walking in the road with a lack of cleared sidewalks.  Roads will still be hazardous to drive.  Use extreme caution.

Similar to our recommendations before and during the winter storm, we ask everyone to:

·      Stay Informed - by TV, radio, Internet and newspapers

·      Stay Ready – Just because it has stopped snowing does not mean its OK to travel or resume normal activity

·      Stay Safe – Use common sense and keep Safety First

·      Clean all snow and ice off of your vehicle including the roof.  Chunks of snow and ice could fly off of car tops and damage other vehicles and cause injuries

·      Snow accumulated on tree branches and utility lines may eventually cause them to fall - keep in mind the gusty winds will be here through Sunday

·      Drive with your headlights on and make sure you have plenty of window cleaning fluid

·      Downed power lines – treat every downed power line as a live power line and call your utility provider

·      Be careful when moving tree limbs or trees as utility wires may be involved.  Call 311 to report downed trees that are blocking roadways.

·      Please clear snow from all sidewalks and fire hydrants that are on your property.

·      Walk slowly and beware of invisible ice.  Snow will melt during the day and refreeze at night causing hazardous walking and driving conditions.  Take due caution

·      Check on neighbors and elderly family members - clear their sidewalks for them

·      Watch out for potholes and possible flooding and re-freezing from melting snow


Stay indoors on Sunday and enjoy some NFL Championship Football!!!

Fort Washington Man Suffers Snow Shoveling Death

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

With over a foot of snow already on the ground and more still falling a Fort Washington man appears to have suffered a heart attack while shoveling snow at his home.  At around 8:30 am, Firefighters and Medics from the Fort Washington Fire/EMS Station responded to the 1200 block of Sandy Bar Drive and found the man in cardiac arrest.  Firefighters and Medics did their very best in attempting to revive the man, however, despite their valiant efforts he was pronounced deceased.

At around 10:30 am the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME-MD) confirmed to Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications that this was a storm related death.

The Fire/EMS Department does not release the names of medical patient fatalities.  Additional information can be obtained through the OCME.

This weekend’s storm is certainly living up to the forecast.  High snow totals are being recorded across the region with cold temperatures and high wind gusts, a true winter blizzard.

This winter storm has produced enough snow that clearing sidewalks, driveways and other areas will be a challenge to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition and other medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and anyone over the age of 50.  Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts, and take frequent breaks.

Be warned that the snow that has fallen so far has been of the lighter powder texture.  It is anticipated that this afternoon’s snowfall will be the heavy and wet texture.  The heavy and wet snow adds weight to your shoveling, requires high energy and is dangerous to your health.

Use smaller shovels; perhaps a narrow shovel that will not allow you to pick up big amounts.

Cold temperatures also will affect your health when shoveling.  You will exert high energy when shoveling which will make you breath harder and more often.  Deep and frequent breathing will result in inhaling colder air that will constrict your lungs and airways making the exchange of oxygen into your bloodstream difficult.  When you venture outdoors this weekend wear clothing that will cover your mouth and nose.

Ask a neighborhood youth to clear your walks for you or be a good neighbor and clear the snow for your senior citizen neighbor.

If you experience signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which include, chest pains, difficulty breathing, heaviness on your chest, numbness in your neck and left arm, call 911 immediately.



CAUTION - Potential for heart attacks are high shoveling snow

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

This weekend’s storm is certainly living up to the forecast.  High snow totals are being recorded across the region with cold temperatures and high wind gusts, a true winter blizzard.

This winter storm has produced enough snow that clearing sidewalks, driveways and other areas will be a challenge to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition or anyone over the age of 50. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts, and take frequent breaks.

Be warned that the snow that has fallen so far has been of the lighter powder texture.  It is anticipated that this afternoon’s snowfall will be the heavy and wet texture.  The heavy and wet snow adds weight to your shoveling, requires high energy and is dangerous to your health.

Use smaller shovels; perhaps a narrow shovel that will not allow you to pick up big amounts.

Cold temperatures also will affect your health when shoveling.  You will exert high energy when shoveling which will make you breath harder and more often.  Deep and frequent breathing will result in inhaling colder air that will constrict your lungs and airways making the exchange of oxygen into your bloodstream difficult.  When you venture outdoors this weekend wear clothing that will cover your mouth and nose.

Ask a neighborhood youth to clear your walks for you or be a good neighbor and clear the snow for your senior citizen neighbor.

If you experience signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which include, chest pains, difficulty breathing, heaviness on your chest, numbness in your neck and left arm, call 911 immediately.