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Monday, January 24, 2011

Oxon Hill House Fire with Civilian Fatality - Update (2)

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters fought a fierce fire in an Oxon Hill home this morning that claimed the life of one of the occupants. At about 8:20 am, Monday, January 24, 2011, Firefighters and Paramedics were alerted by a 911 call from a neighbor stating the house next door was on fire in the 300 block of Corla Drive. Additional 911 callers indicated that a person was still inside the burning home. Dispatchers relayed information about the trapped occupant to responding firefighters and immediately dispatched paramedics to the scene as well.

The first arriving engine from Oxon Hill Fire/EMS Station #821 advised they were on the scene of a 2-story, split foyer, single family home with heavy fire showing. An aggressive interior attack and search of the house was immediately initiated. It took 34 firefighters about 20 minutes to knock down the fire and conduct a primary search of the home. The primary search yielded negative results.

A thorough secondary search was conducted whereas a deceased adult male was located in the basement. An adult female, 30ish years-of-age, was able to escape the burning home by jumping from a top floor window. She sustained injuries to her leg and possible smoke inhalation and transported by paramedics to a medical facility.

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators are conducting an investigation into the cause and origin of the fire. Fire Investigators were joined by County Police Homicide as a matter of standard operating procedure. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $250,000. It is believed that the deceased is the home occupant, a 60ish year-old-male; however, an autopsy will be required to confirm the identity of the deceased.

As a result of a 54” water main break earlier this morning Fire/EMS Officials had directed the transfer of several large capacity water tankers into affected areas with low water pressure; Oxon Hill is one of those areas. As a result, 6 engines companies, compared to 4 normally, and 3 water tankers, were dispatched to this incident. While initial arriving firefighters advised of low water pressure from the hydrants, there was more than adequate water supply on the scene to handle this fire. The low water pressure from the hydrants had no impact on this incident.

Firefighters will return to the Oxon Hill community tomorrow going door-to-door providing fire safety and injury prevention material as well as checking on home smoke alarms. It is not yet known if smoke alarms played any role in this incident. Any citizen that is in need of a working smoke alarm is encouraged to contact our safety first smoke alarm line at 301-864-SAFE (7233). “Safety First – Ensure Everyone Goes Home.”

Conditions on arrival as photographed by a neighbor.  Photo obtained through WUSA TV 9 website.

Heavy fire was coming through the front door of this 2-story home upon fireifghters arrival (BRADY)

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