MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Firefighters removed an adult female from her Seat Pleasant home this morning but despite the very best efforts of everyone involved she died a short time after arriving at the hospital.
At around 3:15 am, Friday, November 25, firefighters and medics were alerted to a house fire with a person trapped in the 6800 block of Wilburn Drive in Seat Pleasant. Firefighters arrived to find a 2 level, split foyer, single family home with heavy fire consuming the top level. Firefighters initiated an interior attack on the fire and searched for the female occupant. An unconscious female was located on the 1st level and removed from the structure.
Medics provided CPR as well as other advanced life support measures and transported the 80 year-old female to a nearby Trauma Center. She was pronounced deceased a short time after arrival at the hospital.
An adult male, 50ish years of age and son of the female occupant, was also at home when the fire started. He was able to self evacuate prior to the fire departments arrival. He was transported to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation.
No working smoke alarms were found in the house.
There were 35 firefighters on the scene that had the bulk of the fire extinguished with 20 minutes of arrival. Fire loss is estimated at $150,000. Fire Investigators have determined the fire to be accidental and the origin to be in the area of the stove located in the kitchen.
Two firefighters sustained burn injuries and were transported to the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. They were both treated and released.
The deceased has been identified as Elaine James, 80 years of age, of 6806 Wilburn Drive in Seat Pleasant.
Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of surviving a home fire by 50%. Along with having 10-year smoke alarms on every level of your home, primarily just outside of sleeping areas, placing a smoke alarm in your bedroom and sleeping with your bedroom door closed increases the chances of surviving a home fire. Plan and practice a home escape plan that identifies 2 ways out of every room in your house.
Citizens that cannot afford to purchase their own smoke alarm should call 311 and ask about the Fire/EMS Departments smoke alarm program. A firefighter will come to your house and install one 10-year smoke alarm, free of charge. The homeowner is responsible for purchasing and installing other alarms required by law.
Firefighters will return to Wilburn Drive this afternoon around 1:00 pm. They will go door-to-door checking for working smoke alarms and answering any questions neighbors may have about this tragic incident. If a home is found to have no working smoke alarm or one that is beyond its life span of 10 years than firefighters will install a new 10-year alarm at no cost.