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Friday, February 19, 2010

Firefighters Quick Work Limit Injury and Damage to Nursing Home

Firefighters worked quickly to protect the residents of a nursing home and limited the fire damage to their facility. Prince George’s and Montgomery County Firefighters and Paramedics were alerted to a fire at the Paint Branch Home, 3120 Powder Mill Road in Adelphi, at about 8:45 PM, Thursday, February 18, 2010. The assisted care/nursing home facility called 911 and indicated that three residents with limited mobility were not able to escape and their rooms were being impinged by the fire on the outside of the building. An engine from the Calverton Fire/EMS Station and a ladder truck from the Hillendale Fire/EMS Station (Montgomery County) were the first to arrive. The large pieces of fire apparatus had to negotiate their way up the long and winding single lane paved/gravel driveway and encountered a working fire on an attached large wooden deck which was impinging on the 2-story structure. Firefighters immediately entered the structure and encountered moderate heat and smoke conditions and evacuated residents from the residential side of the building and out of harms way. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire and checked for interior extension. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the wooden deck and the exterior of the facility and interior damage was limited. One resident required transportation to a hospital suffering from undetermined illness/injury. A Montgomery County Firefighter sustained a back injury during the evacuation of the residents that were in immediate danger. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

There were 19 residents and 1 caretaker at the home when the fire erupted on the deck. Firefighters assisted Paint Branch Home personnel in moving beds and other items to an area of the facility not affected by the fire, avoiding the need to relocate the remaining 18 residents. Paramedics constantly evaluated the resident’s health during the entire incident. There were 40 firefighters on the scene they took about 15 minutes to effect the evacuations and extinguish the fire. Fire Investigators believe the cause of the fire was an improperly discarded smoking material (cigarette) and fire loss was estimated at $10,000.