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Sunday, June 19, 2016

PGFD Battle Three Fires Within 12 Hours

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters have battled 3 separate fires over a 12-hour period that caused nearly $500,000 in estimated combined fire loss.

On Saturday evening, just before 8:30 pm, firefighters from the Laurel area were alerted to an apartment building on fire in the 13900 block of Briarwood Lane.  Fire/EMS units arrived at the 3-story garden style apartment building with fire showing from the top floor and roof.  A 2nd Alarm was immediately requested.  Initial arriving units searched the building for occupants and initiated extinguishment of the fire.  As the fire grew in intensity all firefighters were removed from the interior and the majority of the fire was knocked down from the safety of exterior positions. 

It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the fire.  A firefighter from the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department fell from a ground ladder and was transported to a nearby hospital.  The firefighter was experiencing pains in his chest area and was held overnight for observation.  He is in Good condition.  No civilian injuries were reported.

Fire Investigators determined the fire originated on a 3rd floor balcony from improper disposal of smoking materials.  The fire extended from the balcony and up into the roof of the building.  Fire loss is estimated at $300,000.  Nine apartments were declared uninhabitable and 22 occupants were displaced.  The Red Cross provided assistance to the displaced residents.

While the Laurel fire was still being extinguished firefighters from the Clinton area were alerted to a commercial building fire in the 7600 block of Barbara Lane just after 9:00 pm.  Fire/EMS units arrived to find a 1-story warehouse occupied by an automotive repair business with fire and heavy smoke billowing from the structure.  A 2nd Alarm was sounded bringing additional resources to the scene.  At one point all firefighters were evacuated as the structure became unstable.   The fire was extinguished from the safety of exterior positions.

The structural integrity of the structure was compromised preventing fire investigators from conducting an interior review of the area of origin.  According to an occupant the fire started accidentally while work was being done to a car inside the garage area.  The cause of the fire will remain undetermined until additional investigation can be performed.  Fire loss is estimated at  $100,000.

One firefighter sustained an ankle injury while battling this fire.  There were no civilian injuries reported.

Just after 8:30 am, Fathers Day, Sunday, June 19, firefighters from the Lanham area were alerted to a house fire in the 9300 block of Fontana Drive.  Firefighters from the Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station were the first to arrive and encountered a 1-story garage converted to a living space with fire showing.  The fire was quickly contained and all searches for occupants proved negative.  The cause of this fire remains under investigation and a preliminary fire loss is estimated at $75,000.  No injuries were reported at this incident.

Briarwood Drive on arrival.  Photo by Laurel VFD

Briarwood Drive by Laurel VFD

Warehouse on Barbara Lane in Clinton.  Photo by PGFD Batt Chief Steve Kling