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Monday, December 7, 2009

Eight Firefighters Injured at 2-Alarm House Fire

Photos by: Mark E. Brady
MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, 240-508-7930

Eight firefighters sustained minor injuries while battling a fire at a large single family home. Just after 11:00 PM, Sunday, December 6, 2009, firefighters from the College Park, Hyattsville and surrounding communities were alerted to a house fire at 7016 Partridge Place in University Park. Firefighters arrived to find a large 2-story, with basement, single family home with heavy fire and smoke coming from both floors. Using the water the engines carry on-board, firefighters were able to mount a brief aggressive interior attack on the well advanced fire until forced to withdraw to wait for an adequate water supply to be established. Interior operations commenced again after the primary and secondary water supplies were in place.
The fire was so well advanced that Public Safety Communications Dispatchers were receiving 911 calls from high-rise buildings near the University of Maryland about a mile away. The bulk of the fire was knocked down within an hour. Firefighters will remain on the scene until early Monday morning overhauling debris and ensuring the fire is completely out.

A family of five; an adult male and female and three children, ages 6, 7 and 9, were home when the fire started. They were able to escape the burning structure to the safety of a neighbor’s house where they called 911. The father was sleeping at the time and was awakened by a sounding smoke alarm. He quickly located his wife and children and assisted them in their safe escape. The family will be displaced and staying temporarily with a neighbor until other arrangements can be made.

Eight firefighters sustained a variety of injuries including burns, sprains, lacerations and exhaustion and were transported to area hospitals for treatment. The injuries did not appear to be serious. A second alarm equivalent was summoned to the scene with nearly 80 firefighters, including units from Montgomery County, working off of 20 pieces of fire and EMS units. The majority of the additional firefighters were used to relieve the initial arriving firefighters and for overhaul.

Fire Investigators believe the fire is accidental in nature and estimate fire loss at $700,000.