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Monday, May 2, 2016

Working Smoke Alarm and Residential Sprinklers Save Lives in Laurel Assisted Living Home

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

A working smoke alarm and residential sprinkler system are credited with alerting residents of a fire in an assisted living home and extinguishing the fire. 

Just 12:00 pm, Monday, May 2, Fire/EMS units were alerted to the 11200 block of Snowden Pond Road in Laurel for a fire in a house with people trapped.  Firefighters arrived at the 2-story single-family home with no smoke or fire evident, however, senior citizen residents were being evacuated with the assistance of others.

It turns out the location is an Assisted Living residential facility with four residents.  Four workers were the ones assisting residents out of the house. 

A fire started on the stove of the first floor kitchen.  A smoke alarm sounded a warning and staff went to investigate and quickly discovered the fire.   As smoke and heat started to build, workers went to assist patients out of their beds and to evacuate.  Before a caregiver could reach any patient, a residential sprinkler system head activated and quickly doused the fire. 

With smoke and heat receding, three of the four patients were safely evacuated without injuries. A fourth patient, on a ventilator, was carried out by firefighters while being tended to by medics.  That patient and two others were transported to a local hospital for evaluation and safe-keeping.  A fourth resident patient remained at the location.  The four staff/caregivers also made it safely out of the house without injury.

The cause of the fire was unattended cooking and fire loss is estimated at $5,000.  No injuries and minimal fire loss can be directly attributable to an early warning by working smoke alarms and a quick extinguishment of the fire by sprinklers.

The assisted living residence had a permit to operate, however, it had expired just last month.  A Prince George’s County Fire Inspector issued the facility a correction order for the expired permit and other violations that must be corrected to bring the home up to code.  Fire Inspectors will follow-up before the home is allowed to conduct assisted living operations.

Owners of the Laurel assisted living home will temporarily move residents and staff into a hotel until repairs can be made and code violations corrected at the house on Snowden Pond Road.

A firefighter stands with one of evacuated residents of an assisted living home.

A Fire Investigator talks with one of the staff from the home.

Fire Investigators discuss their findings.