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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Laurel Montpelier Neighborhood Smoke Alarm Program

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

Members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department went door-to-door in the Laurel community of Montpelier this morning as part of the award winning Adopt-A-Neighborhood (AAN) program.  Firefighters, Medics and EMTs from the Laurel Rescue Squad, Laurel Fire Department and the Beltsville Fire Department, volunteer and career, as well as members of the Fire and EMS Foundation knocked on doors and asked to check on the home smoke alarms.  If a home was found with no alarm, an alarm 10 years old or older or an alarm that no longer worked than a new 10-year working smoke alarm was installed at no cost.  If the home has natural gas service, a fireplace or an attached garage than a 10-year working carbon monoxide alarm was installed as well.  Fire prevention information is also distributed throughout the neighborhood.

Firefighters visited just over 100 homes this morning.  Thirteen new alarms were installed with 15 existing alarms tested and were found to be working.  Many resident were not home and some refused to let firefighters check their alarms.  The 51 homes where residents were not home will be scheduled to be be revisited.

Old Line Bank, one of the AAN original members, sponsored todays program.  This private-public partnership allows members of the business community, Houses of Worship and private citizens to donate funds for the purchase of these life-saving devices.  The donation is made to the Prince Georges Fire and EMS Foundation, a 501c3 organization, which will purchase the alarms to be installed in neighborhoods around the County.  The AAN program recently received a NACO Award and a Firehouse Magazine Community Service Award.

The AAN program alarm installation is managed through a GIS system developed through the County Office of Information Technology.  The smart phone application documents homes where alarms were installed and homes that need to be revisited by firefighters at a future date.  Firefighters, their supervisors and department command staff can log into the application and check on the progress of the program at any given time.

One difference in the AAN program and the Fire/EMS Department Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program (PINIP) is that the AAN allows for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms.  The Departments PINIP only installs smoke alarms.  If any County resident is in need of a working smoke alarm and can not afford to purchase one themselves they can call 311.  A firefighter will install a new smoke alarm at no cost.

In Prince George’s County all homes are mandated to have a working 10-yearsmoke alarm on every level of their home.  The same is true of carbon monoxide alarms if you have a natural gas service, a fireplace or an attached garage.  Of primary importance is to install an alarm just outside of sleeping areas.  The Fire/EMS Department recommends that you sleep with your door closed and have a working smoke alarm installed in every bedroom.

Updated Report on 2 Fires on Friday September 16

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

Two significant structure fires occurred on Friday, September 16.  The first incident occurred just after 10:00 am at an automotive repair garage at 18008 Beech Lane in Accokeek.  Firefighters arrived to find a 1-story open and occupied structure with fire showing.  Firefighters from Charles County and Prince George's County conducted an exterior only attack on the fire that took about 30 minutes to extinguish. The structure is considered a total loss.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was started accidentally and attributed to a malfunction of a piece of equipment that ignited nearby combustibles.  Fire loss is estimated at $50,000.  No injuries were reported.

The leading cause of fires and fire related injuries in Prince George's County is cooking.  Most notably unattended cooking.  So was the case in the second structure fire of the day.  Just after 2:30 pm firefighters were alerted to a townhouse fire in the 1600 block of Willowood Court in Landover.  Fire and EMS units arrived to find a 2-story, middle of the row, townhouse with fire showing.  It required about 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.  The fire started on the rear deck and was caused by an unattended lit grill.  The fire quickly extended into the structure causing an estimated $50,000 in fire loss.

The cause of the fire is accidental.  One firefighter sustained a minor burn injury while fighting the fire.  Eight adults and five children were displaced.  This fire is another example why you must never leave cooking unattended, even an outside grill.

AG Center Fire Appears Accidental

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson

During the morning of September 6 a fire was reported on the grounds of the United States Department of Agriculture facility on Powder Mill Road in Beltsville.  Firefighters arrived to find a heavy volume of fire consuming a row of 1-story wooden workshops.  A second alarm equivalent was called to assist with establishing an adequate water supply and to extinguish the fire.  No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

Prince George's County Fire Investigators were joined by Federal Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) during a cause and origin investigation.  While the exact cause remains undetermined there is no evidence of a criminal act.

Photo Credit to News Media

Bowie Fatal Fire From Juy Remains Under Investigation

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson

On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at around 7:00 pm a fire of undetermined cause occurred at a single-family home in the 12000 block of Lofting Court in Bowie.  The area of origin appears to be an attached garage which is where the body of deceased female was located.

Attempts by Investigators and the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner have not been able to positively identify the deceased.  The OCME did confirm the adult female died of thermal burns and smoke inhalation.  

Neighbors described the female that normally occupied the house as a “loner” and a “recluse” that never associated with others.   Hoarding conditions were present inside of the home.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Fire loss to the structure is estimated at $200.000.

Images courtesy of Paul Hawkins, Fire Observer

Takoma Park Clothing Store Fore on 9-6-16 Remains Under Investigation

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson

Prince Georges and Montgomery County Firefighters were alerted to a commercial store fire at 6711 New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912 on Tuesday, September 6, at 11:10:00 AM. 

Firefighters arrived to find a well advanced fire at a 2-story middle of the row strip mall.  It required 30 minutes to extinguish the fire in the clothing store.  No injuries were reported.  The cause of the fire is undetermined and fire loss is estimated at $75,000.

Photos courtesy of PGFD