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Friday, March 6, 2009

Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones confirms that this smoke alarm is working in a home on Flagstaff Street in Landover, MD this afternoon.
District 5 County Council Member Andrea Harrison and Fire Chief Jones discuss fire safety matters with Landover resident William Lowry.

Prince George’s County Firefighters greeted morning commuters at Metro Stations and went door-to-door as a start to a weekend long campaign to remind citizens and residents to stay safe. With a switch to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 8, 2009, firefighters are reminding everyone that it is also a good time to remember to change the battery in their smoke alarm and carbon Monoxide detector.

Prince George’s County Council Member Andrea Harrison, District 5, joined Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones and firefighters from the 1st Battalion and members of the Community Outreach office as they checked smoke alarms on Flagstaff Street in Landover this afternoon. Firefighters will continue this effort throughout the weekend in all areas of the County.

If you need a smoke alarm, installed in your home, free of charge, contact our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE (7233).

Landover House Fire with Fatalities

Just before 3:00 AM, Friday, March 6, 2009, Firefighters and Paramedics from the Landover area were alerted by a 911 caller that smoke was coming from a house in the 7200 Block of Flagstaff Street. Firefighters from Kentland were the first to arrive at this 1-story, with basement, single family home and indicated that they had heavy smoke coming form the house and a fire in the basement. A neighbor advised firefighters that the home is normally occupied by an adult female and a male acquaintance and that their car was still in the driveway. Firefighters initiated an interior attack on the fire with a simultaneous search and rescue for trapped occupants. The basement fire was quickly contained and extinguished within 10 minutes. The search resulted in two occupants being located and removed from the structure. One occupant, a 78 year-old-male, was found in the basement, removed from the house and pronounced on the scene. A 65 year-old-female was located in the 1ST floor living room and transported by paramedics to Prince George’s County Trauma Center in extremely critical condition. She succumbed to her injuries a short time after her arrival at the hospital.

A smoke alarm was found on the first floor and it appears that it was in working condition. A preliminary indication is that the victims were attempting to exit the house when conditions inside rapidly deteriorated and they were overcome by the intense heat and thick smoke.
Fire Investigators continue to search for the exact cause of the fire, however, they have no reason to believe the fire is suspicious. The basement fire resulted in fire loss estimated at $50,000. There were no firefighter injuries. The identities of the deceased are being withheld pending confirmation of identity and notification of family.

Firefighters throughout Prince George’s County had already been scheduled to go door-to-door and greet commuters at County Metro Stations to remind everyone that when they move their clock forward on Sunday for Daylight Saving Time to also change the battery in the smoke alarm and CO detectors as well. As a result of this morning tragic incident, firefighters from the Landover area will canvass the Flagstaff Street area providing fire safety information, fresh alarm batteries and if needed, a working smoke alarm will be installed, free of charge. This activity is scheduled to occur at 1:00 PM.

Any Prince George’s County citizen and resident can obtain a smoke alarm, installed in their home, free of charge by contacting our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE (7233).

Remember these Fire Safety Tips:

  • Have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home and in bedrooms (if you sleep with your door closed).

  • Test your smoke alarm monthly – replace the battery at least once-a-year.

  • Plan and practice a home escape plan in the event an emergency occurs in your home. Ensure you identify two ways out of every room and designate a meeting place outside.