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Saturday, December 29, 2012

WUSA 9 News Report on Fatal Greenbelt Home Fire

Leave Fireworks Out of Your New Year Celebrations

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

The use of fireworks on New Years Eve into New Years Day is second only to the Fourth of July.   Citizens, residents and visitors should be aware that the use of all consumer fireworks in Prince George's County are illegal.  Firefighters and Paramedics recommend that you leave the pyrotechnics to the experts and leave fireworks out of your celebration planning.

Prince George’s County has banned the sale, use and possession of these fireworks based on the danger to our citizens caused by the misuse of these products.  The danger is particulary high and a matter of concern for firefighters and paramedics as many New Year celebrations involve the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol may impair the judgement and common sense of the most well-intentioned individual and cause injury to themselves or innocent by-standers and ignite a fire.

The Law in Prince George’s County.

• It is illegal for any person to manufacture, possess, store, offer for sale, sell, discharge, use, burn, or explode any fireworks in Prince George's County, Maryland, except that an authorized display may be conducted by a licensed pyrotechnic professional. Penalties for violations of the law include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.

• Each year, thousands of people are injured and some killed in accidents involving the use of fireworks. These primarily involve those fireworks classified as 1.4g explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as "consumer fireworks." 

Remember, SAFETY FIRST, will ensure everyone goes home.

Greenbelt Row House Fire with Fatality - Laurel Hill Road

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

A fire in a Greenbelt row house claimed the life of female tonight.  Just before 9:00 pm, Friday, firefighters were alerted to a fire in 2 Court of Laurel Hill Road with reports of someone trapped inside.  Firefighters arrived quickly and encountered a 2-story, middle of the row, row house with fire showing from the front and rear sides of the structure and two injured occupants that had escaped prior to the fire departments arrival. 

Firefighters immediately started an interior search and stretched hose lines to attack the fire.  The fire had extended to the second floor and was making it’s way towards the attic when firefighters gained control of the fire.  It required about 15 minutes to knock down the fire.

Search and rescue efforts resulted in a senior citizen female being located inside the burning home.  She was removed by firefighters and handed her over to awaiting paramedics.  Tragically, she was pronounced deceased.  Paramedics also treated an adult male and female that sustained injuries while exiting the home.  Their injuries are serious but not life threatening.  The relationship between the three occupants was not immediately available.

The row houses on each side of the house of origin sustained some fire damage causing displacement of the occupants.  The County Citizen Services Unit was on location assisting the 3 adults and 2 children displaced.

Prince George’s County Fire Investigators and the City of Greenbelt Police Department will be conducting a joint investigation of this fire incident and death.  As of this evening the cause and origin are “under investigation.”  Damage estimates are still being tabulated.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the identity of the deceased.

Firefighters stand-by the front door entrance to the row house where the death and injuries occurred.