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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Greenbelt Apartment Fire Quickly Extinguished

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Conditions on arrival by Branchville.
Photo courtesy of Michael T. Hughes, Branchville Volunteer Fire Fighter.
A quick arrival and fast actions by first arriving firefighters to extinguish a fire limited the amount of damage to an apartment building.  On Saturday, January 28, 2012, at about 4:30 pm, firefighters were alerted to an apartment on fire at 8423 Greenbelt Road in Greenbelt.  Fire/EMS units had just cleared another fire incident in Beltsville resulting in some fire units being closer to the reported Greenbelt fire.  One of those closer than normal was from Branchville Fire/EMS Company 811 (North College Park).  They were one of the first that arrived quickly to find heavy fire coming from the top floor of the 3-story garden style apartment building.  Firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack on the fire by stretching hose lines to the top floor and extinguishing the fire.  Searches for civilian occupants still inside were negative and the fire was extinguished and contained to the apartment of origin.  In addition to Branchville, Fire/EMS units from West Lanham Hills, Berwyn Heights, Greenbelt, Glen Dale, College Park and Bowie worked to extinguish the fire.  There were 35 firefighters working at the scene. The bulk of the fire was knocked down with 7 minutes of arrival.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.  Fire loss is estimated at $35,000.  The cause of the fire appears to be accidental and started when combustible products came in contact with burning incense.  Although fire damage was limited to just the one apartment, six family units will be displaced because gas and electric utilities were shut off to the building.  Those displaced include 8 adults and 7 children.  The County Citizen Services Unit is working with apartment complex management to restore as many units as possible to limit the amount of time the families will be displaced.

Firefighters worked quickly in laddering the building, searching for occupants,
extinguishing the fire and ventilating the building.  (photo credit to Zack Grant, West Lanham Hills VFD)

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