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Sunday, April 23, 2017

2nd Alarm Apartment Fire - Corning Avenue - Lessons to be Learned

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

A fire broke out on the top floor of a Fort Washington apartment building Sunday morning.  At 8:30 am, Sunday, April 23, several 911 calls were received by call takers at Public Safety Communications reporting an apartment fire at 2517 Corning Avenue in Fort Washington at the Glen Rock Landing Apartment Complex.

According to witnesses, prior to the fire department arrival, several building occupants had retreated to their balconies unable to escape through the intense heat and thick smoke consuming the 3-story apartment buildings interior stairwell.  Witnesses reported one occupant lowered her infant to bystanders outside and then lowered herself from her second floor balcony. 

Some occupants sheltered in place on their balconies and some opted to jump or lower themselves balcony-by-balcony to the ground.  One adult female jumped from her top floor window to the ground.  Fortunately she had a soft landing in a grassy area.  Firefighters, using extended ground ladders, rescued several occupants that had remained on their balconies.

Firefighters arrived within 6 minutes of dispatch and confirmed a top floor apartment on fire with extension into the roof area with several building occupants requiring rescue.  A Second Alarm was sounded bringing additional staffing and resources to the scene.  All rescues were made, searches complete and fire extinguished within 15 minutes after arrival.

Medics treated and evaluated five people on the scene.  Two civilians were transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries/illness, one of those transported was the female occupant that jumped from her window.  One of the five treated on the scene was a firefighter that became ill after battling the fire.

It appears that the occupants of the apartment of origin attempted to extinguish the fire themselves using residential fire extinguishers.  Several spent fire extinguishers were found outside.  The fire rapidly grew in intensity eventually extended out of the windows and balcony doors which is when 911 was first notified by bystanders outside the building.  

The apartment buildings pull station alarm bells were never pulled and activated.  Building residents were not afforded an opportunity for a warning about the fire and a safe egress.

The American Red Cross will be assisting approximately 30 residents displaced from the 11 apartments in the building of origin.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation with preliminary fire loss estimated at $150,000 to the structure and contents.

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department reminds citizens and residents:

  • Once a fire exceeds the size of a cooking pan or small trashcan it is time to cease attempts to extinguish the fire and exit the house or apartment.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible from a safe location.
  • If you are in an apartment and your building is equipped with pull station fire alarms; activate the fire alarm on your way out so others may escape in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Always know two ways out of every room in your house, condo, apartment, hotel and place of work.  Plan and practice escape plans.
  • When you retreat to your balcony remember to close the balcony door behind you.  This will provide you additional protection from heat and smoke inside from coming out.  Wave something and yell to get someone’s attention.  If possible, wait for the fire departments arrival to help you down to safety.
  • Always have working 10-year smoke alarms wherever you live.  Alarms should be installed on every level, primarily just outside of sleeping areas, and in every bedroom.  Sleep with your bedroom door closed.

In addition to units from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department there were firefighters from Naval District Washington, Fairfax and Alexandria that operated on this fire.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

WJLA Coverage:F-16 fighter jet crashes 6 miles from Joint Base Andrews; pilot parachutes to safety

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PG Fire: Military aircraft crashes miles from Joint Base Andrews; pilot parachuted out. (ABC7)


F-16 fighter jet crashes 6 miles from Joint Base Andrews; pilot parachutes to safety
F-16 crashes near homes in Clinton
Aircraft Crash 
Aircraft Crash 
An F-16 military aircraft crashed in Clinton, Md. about six miles from Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning. Officials said that the pilot parachuted out of the aircraft.

Joint Base Andrews confirmed it was an F-16 pilot from D.C. Air National Guard's 113th Fighter Wing. 

Wednesday afternoon, officials took questions about the incident, carried live on ABC7's Facebook page: 

The pilot is said to have non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in "good condition," according to the Prince George's County Fire Department. 
Luis Martinez, ABC News Pentagon producer, reports that the F-16 had live ammunition aboard, including machine gun bullets, according to Master Sergeant Craig Clapper, spokesman for the 113th Fighter Wing. The rounds can be used at a live range, Clapper said, but today the aircraft was on a routine training mission to practice air maneuvers and not headed to a firing range.
The F-16 that went down was one of four that had just taken off together from Joint Base Andrews to carry out the air maneuvers, Clapper said. The F-16 went down shortly after takeoff.

The pilot managed to steer the fighter jet away from homes and buildings in the area, Clapper said.
Asked about a helicopter at the scene, Clapper said that helicopter was bringing personnel to the site and had nothing to do with the original training mission.

According to the base, the crash took place at around 9:15 a.m. while the jet was participating in a training mission with other D.C. Air National Guard aircraft about six miles from the base. 

Here is video of the pilot descending to the ground in his parachute after ejecting from the plane. 

Here is raw video of the scene of the crash after the pilot got to the ground. 

Prince George's County Fire officials say the jet had dummy rounds with gunpowder loads but no bullets. Fire crews are currently on the scene. 

ABC7's Brad Bell was able to obtain photos of the pilot right after he landed. Click here if you are on the app.

The crash took place near Temple Hills Rd. and Woodells Ct., according to PG Fire.

A press conference on the crash is being held at 3:30 p.m. at Andrews Golf Course. 

Prince George's County police reported there might be "lengthy" road closures because of the crash investigation. Temple Hill Road has since been reopened. 

Prince George's County officials are asking anyone who finds pieces of the jet to not move any of it but call Joint Base Andrews at 240-612-4428 & 4430

Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin released the following statement in regards to the crash: 
“I am closely monitoring the crash of the military aircraft in Clinton just a few miles from Joint Base Andrews. I am pleased to hear that the pilot parachuted to safety with only non-life threatening injuries with no one hurt on the ground and that the crash occurred in a largely wooded area. Nonetheless, I know that the residents that I represent in Clinton are alarmed by this accident and I encourage the affected residents to follow the direction of public safety personnel at the scene. Per the guidance of our public safety officers, if anyone in the community finds what they believe to be a part of the aircraft, do not touch or move it but please call Joint Base Andrews at 240-857-8685. Let’s continue to keep all of our military personnel and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
Officials at Joint Base Andrews are warning those in the area of the crash who find target practice projectiles to immediately report it to the authorities at 301-981-2002. 

The PGU-27A/B Electrically Fired 20MM Target Practice Projectiles have blue tips with a brass body. They contain a quantity of propellant but are generally safe to be around, officials say. 
They should not be exposed to electromagnetic radiation, cell phones, radios or other electronic devices, officials say. 
Officials also say not to touch or move the rounds.

WJLA Coverage - Sentencing of man that shot 2 firefighters

Darrell Lumpkin, the homeowner who killed a Prince George's County firefighter during a welfare check in April 2016, has been sentenced to four years in prison for illegal gun possession on Friday, according to ABC7 News' Brad Bell.
Lumpkin shot three men. John "Skillet" Ulmschneider, 37, and volunteer firefighter Kevin Swain, 19, walked into his home in Temple Hills, Maryland in response to a medical welfare check. Ulmschneider was killed, Swain was critically wounded, and Lumpkin's brother was wounded.
Lumpkin shot three men. John "Skillet" Ulmschneider, 37, and volunteer firefighter Kevin Swain, 19, walked into his home in Temple Hills, Maryland in response to a medical welfare check. Ulmschneider was killed, Swain was critically wounded, and Lumpkin's brother was wounded.
Swain was in serious but stable condition after he went underwent surgery in April 2016. 
In Jan. 2017, Lumpkin pled guilty to one felony charge. He was initially being charged in relation to the actual shooting death, which was considered accidental and in self-defense.
Authorities say while no charges were filed against Lumpkin, he was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to possessing a weapon while having a previous felony charge on his criminal record.

FOX5dc Coverage:Md. apartment building damaged during strong storms; some residents temporarily evacuated

 - Some residents at a high-rise apartment building in Adelphi were temporarily evacuated as authorities assessed damage that is believed to have been caused by the severe storms that passed through the area Thursday night.
Prince George’s County Fire and EMS said crews found broken windows and cracks in the bricks and drywall of a 20-story building at the Presidential Towers complex in the 1800 block of Metzerott Road.
“The theory is that when the strong storm rolled through at about 8:30 [p.m.] this evening, it pressurized some confined spaces in this apartment building and actually pushed out some walls – not really causing any real structural damage, but cosmetic damage to drywall,” said Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady. “We had a broken window or two, some window blinds were ruffled up, so very strong winds entered this building and somehow pressurized confined spaces enough to push out the walls.”
After investigating, it was found the damage was cosmetic and the county's building inspector determined the building was safe.