MEDIA ADVISORY: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department posted notices on 2 mid-rise condominium building as being "unsafe" this afternoon. The Lynnhill Condominiums, 3103 and 3107 Good Hope Avenue in Temple Hills, failed to comply with 14 of 23 fire code violations. There are about 36 units that remain occupied with about 100 residents that have been advised to vacate during Wednesday morning.
We have compiled a list of questions that Lynnhill residents may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did the Fire Department post the building unsafe to occupy?
Recent inspections by the Fire Department revealed major fire code violations that threaten the immediate safety of all residents. Among other issues, the Fire Chief has determined that the trash in vacant units and the inoperable fire doors on apartment units and at stairwells are critical fire safety issues. Management was notified of these violations multiple times, and ordered to make corrections, but failed to do so in a timely manner.
Why do I have only 24 hours to leave the building?
Safety of the residents is the primary concern of the Fire Department and every day residents remain in a building in this condition increases the risk to residents and firefighters. While the Fire Department ordered emergency measures such as an hourly fire watch and the pre-positioning of a fire engine, these measures only slightly reduce the risk to residents and cannot continue indefinitely.
Do I have to remove all of my furniture and other belongings in 24 hours?
No. Please gather all your important papers, insurance cards, cash or checkbooks, passports, or other documents that you would not want to leave unattended. You may make arrangements for all of your clothing, furniture and other personal property at a later time.
Who do I contact to schedule time to remove all of my furniture or other belongings?
You may contact the onsite police officer or call 301-909-6065 to arrange time to enter the building.
What if I do not have any other place to live or move?
The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, other County agencies, and the Red Cross will provide assistance to those needing temporary housing and other services. Currently, staff of the County’s Department of Social Services are working within the Office of Emergency Management vehicle which is on-site. Please walk in to begin the process of finding another place to live. You may also call the Lynnhill Residents Assistance Hotline at 301-909-6065 or email at Lynnhill.Residents@maryland.gov.
If I own a unit, does the Fire Department’s posting mean I lose my ownership rights?
No. The Fire Department’s posting does not mean that the County is exercising eminent domain or taking ownership of the building. You still own your unit. Once all the violations are corrected, the posting will be removed and access to the building restored. This fact, however, does not mean that other violations of the building, fire, or housing code have been corrected. Any additional violations may result in the building being declared unsafe or uninhabitable.
How does the Fire Department posting relate to the issue of nonpayment to the utilities?
The Fire Department issues are completely separate. The money owed to the utilities is a separate issue under the jurisdiction of the State Public Service Commission, which recently ruled that the utilities may terminate service after providing certain notice. If the utilities are terminated, all residents will again need to vacate the premises because the County will declare the buildings unfit for human habitation.