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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Chillum House Fire with Civilian Fatality

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

Investigators from the Prince George's County Office of the Fire Marshal are working to determine the cause of a fire that appears to have claimed the life of a Chillum resident.  At around 7:45 am, Saturday, April 14, firefighters were alerted to a 911 report of smoke coming from a house.  A neighbor across the street called 911 after they saw smoke coming from the front window and alerted the call taker that they did not know if the person that lived there was still inside or not.

Firefighters arrived at a 2-story, split level, single family home in the 1400 block of Ray Road and confirmed a working fire.  Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and located the occupant deceased in the same general area.

The deceased is believed to be the homes lone occupant, an adult female in her 70's.  The home had a working smoke alarm, however, there was only one and it was located in the lower level of the house.  This alarm was not in a position to immediately detect smoke on the upper floors and provide the early warning to the occupant of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, however, nothing suspicious has been found.  Positive identification of the deceased and cause of death will be determined the the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  Fire loss is estimated at $50,000 with an area of origin being the living room on the main level.

Maryland State Law requires homes to have a 10-year, tamper proof, smoke alarm on every level of your home.  Residents that can not afford to purchase a 10-year smoke alarm themselves can call 311 and request an alarm to be installed in their home by a firefighter at no charge.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Fire in Suitland Duplex with Deceased Occupant

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters were dispatched to investigate an odor of smoke and a smoke alarm sounding in an attached duplex unit in Suitland this morning.  These details were obtained from a 911 call received from the occupant of the attached duplex unit.  

At around 3:45 am, Tuesday, April 10th, firefighters arrived at a 2-story brick duplex in the 4600 block of Brookfield Drive to find a fire in a second floor bedroom.  The fire was located in the duplex unit attached to that of the 911 caller.  The small fire was quickly extinguished and a deceased adult male was discovered in the room of origin.  A working smoke alarm was found in the home.

Fire Investigators have initiated an investigation into the cause of the fire.  An autopsy will be performed to determine the identity of the deceased and cause of death.  Standard procedure is for the County Police to join Fire Investigators until a cause of fire and death have been established.

No other civilian or firefighter injures were reported.  Preliminary fire loss is estimated at $2,500.  The cause of fire is under investigation.

Firefighters will return to the community this afternoon at 1:30 pm and go door-to-door asking to check smoke alarms.  If a non-working smoke alarm is found or is lacking any alarm, one will be installed by firefighters at no charge.  Firefighters will also provide fire safety information including how to prepare an home escape plan in the event of a fire.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Home Fires in College Park and Bowie Today

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

Fires in two Prince George’s County homes today, Monday April 9th, caused significant damage to each home but no injuries.

Investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal are working to determine if a discarded cigarette is to blame for a fire that started on the back porch of a 1-story single family home in College Park.  Firefighters arrived at the home in the 5000 block of Muskogee Street at around 8:15 am to find fire showing.  The family of four escaped unharmed prior to the Departments arrival.  The family will be making their own arrangements for shelter.  The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in fire loss and the exact cause remains under investigation.

Conditions on arrival on Muskogee Street in College Park.  Photo courtesy of College Park VFD
Just prior to Noon firefighters from the Bowie area were alerted to a house fire in the 1400 block of Peachwood Lane.  A second floor bathroom remodeling was underway with a plumber sweating pipes when fire was discovered in the attic of the 2-story single family home.  The workers and home occupants escaped unharmed prior to the Fire Department arrival.  Firefighters from Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County operated on the scene of this fire.  During the early stages of the fire a partial roof collapse occurred forcing firefighters to evacuate the homes interior.  Fortunately, no firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.  The family of 2 are being assisted by the American Red Cross with temporary shelter.  Fire Investigators have determined the fire cause to be accidental with an estimated fire loss of $75,000.

Peachwood Lane house.  Photo by PGFD

Peachwood Lane house.  Photo by PGFD

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Fire Investigators Special Passion - Leukemia Lymphoma Society

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

Stephanie A. Bunce is a 17+ year employee with the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department.   Bunce has had several assignments throughout her career as a firefighter, paramedic and technician.  She is currently assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal, Fire Investigations Division, as a Lieutenant on B shift. 

Stephanie enjoys many activities while off-duty with her family and one of her most passionate is being a volunteer with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS), in particular, the Man & Woman of the Year Campaign. 

Bunce and her family began working with LLS in 2015.  Bunce’s husband, Tom, a Sergeant with the Prince George's County Police Department won the title of “Man of the Year” for 2015.  Her niece ran the following year and was crowned the “2016 Woman of the Year”.  Last year, her brother-in-law, who is a Corporal with the Prince George's County Police Department, won the title as “Man of the Year for 2017”.  Her team, “Crushin’ Orange,” is now participating in its fourth year with this Campaign.  The past 3 years her team has raised just shy of $300,000.00!!!  This year they hope to break their record and raise $150,000.00 within the next several weeks. 

Each year The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society launches it’s Man & Woman of the Year fundraising campaign.  The campaign is 10-weeks long running from March 30 – June 9.  “My personal goal is to raise $10, 000,” said Stephanie.  These funds will go directly to LLS in support of its longstanding mission to find a cure for blood cancers and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”

New hope to find a cure for blood cancers has never been greater.  Funds raised are really making a difference, but there is still a long way to go.  Cure rates for some forms of childhood leukemia have risen to nearly 90%, from 3% in 1960.  However, incidences of lymphoma are on the rise, and leukemia is still one of the leading disease killers of children in our country.

With your support, LLS can continue funding critical research as well as providing outstanding patient services.  Please know any amount will help; here are some examples of the difference you can make with your fully tax-deductible donation:

$1,000   Provides assistance for a year of PCR testing for a CML patient.
$500       helps defray the costs of treatment-related travel for a patient.
$300       Helps fund one week of LLS-sponsored group support for families dealing with blood   
                Cancer treatment.
$100       covers the cost of one tissue-typing test used to identify a bone marrow donor.
$50         covers the cost of one CT scan.

And, you’ll feel great about your donation since 78% of LLS’s expenditures and 91% of the Man & Woman of the Year campaign funds go directly to LLS’s mission.  The way you can help make a difference is by donating
online to my personal fundraising page at http://pages.mwoy.org/md/mdes18/sbunce  
To make a secure donation.  No amount is TOO small when dealing with this disease.  EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!

Monday, April 2, 2018

"The PGFD Southsiders" to Compete in Burn Center Hockey Tournament

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

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Hockey Team, "The Southsiders" will be skating in a very worthwhile tournament this coming weekend.  The DC Firefighters Burn Center Tournament will be held this weekend at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel

The PGFD Southsiders team is representing IAFF Local 1619 and Alpert Schreyer Law Firm. 

Prior to the Saturday afternoon game versus Harrisburg there will be a puck drop by a Prince George's County Firefighter that was just released from the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center where he spent just over 2 weeks being treated for burns sustained in a house fire.  Fire Fighter Cody Schmidt and his crew will tentatively drop the puck to start the game along with making a presentation of a donation to the Burn Center by The Southsiders and our sponsors.

Enjoy some hockey this weekend for a good cause and have a great time!!!