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Monday, February 18, 2019

Couple Saved by Firefighters from Burning Boulevard Heights Home

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

Firefighters rescued a couple from their burning Boulevard Heights home Sunday evening.  

Just before 10:00 pm, Sunday, February 17th Prince George’s County Firefighters were alerted to a house fire with 911 reports of occupants trapped inside.  The first arriving unit was an engine from District Heights Fire/EMS Station 826.  They arrived at a 2-story single family house in the 4000 block of Byers Street and reported heavy fire showing.

The fire appears to have started in a detached shed next to the house with fire quickly extending into the house through the windows.  The fire officer-in-charge was informed by a member of law enforcement, that had arrived moments before, that he could hear 2 occupants yelling for help from the second floor.  The police officer had attempted entry but was forced back by the thick smoke and intense heat inside the house.  The fire extended inside through the windows and directly impinged on the stairs leading to the top floor where the trapped occupants were awaiting rescue.

The crew knew that time was of the essence as heat and smoke continued to build up in the house.  The crew split up and deployed a charged hose line to initiate extinguishment of the fire and allow access to the interior stairwell.  Two other crewmembers, including a firefighter and the crew officer, in full personal protective equipment, ascended the stairwell following the screams for help.  

An adult male occupant was found near the top of the stairwell and immediately removed by way of the interior stairwell.  The remaining firefighter on the 2ndfloor continued his search and quickly located an adult female in a bedroom.  The firefighter carried her out to safety, again, by way of the interior stairwell.  Both rescues were made possible due to the stairwell being made tenable by the firefighter operating the initial hose line.

Once outside the two civilians were treated by Firefighter/Medics from District Heights and transported to a Trauma Center that specializes in burns and smoke related injuries.  Injuries sustained by the couple were serious, however, appeared to be non-life threatening.

Additional firefighters arrived and continued to work on extinguishing the fire which had now fully extended into the 2ndfloor and attic area. It required about 20 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.

The officer-in-charge of the first arriving engine, Firefighter/Medic Lieutenant Kris Demattia stated, “All the firefighters did an excellent job on the rescue and extinguishing the fire.  Two more minutes and the outcome could have been very different.”

Personnel from the Office of the Fire Marshal have listed the cause of the fire as undetermined with the investigation open and on-going. The area of origin appears to be in a detached structure immediately adjacent to the house.  The fire loss is estimated at $25,000 and no additional injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.

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