Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Just after 7:00 pm on Sunday, July 31, Firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 12000 block of Lofting Court in Bowie.
Fire/EMS units arrived at a 2-story single family home with fire showing from an attached garage with extension into the second floor. When firefighters made entry into the burning home they encountered hoarding conditions throughout the structure hampering their ability to maneuver about to conduct searches and extinguish the fire.
At one point, as the fire grew in intensity, all firefighters were evacuated from the structure out of concern for their safety. Firefighters searched the house as best as they could twice without finding the occupant that was unaccounted for. Additional fire/EMS units were summoned to the scene to assist with extinguishment and excessive overhaul operations.
After a firefight lasting 75 minutes the fire was declared out. One firefighter sustained a laceration to his hand and was treated and released at an area hospital. Fire loss is estimated at $200,000.
As personnel from the Fire/EMS Departments Office of the Fire Marshal initiated a cause and origin investigation a deceased person was located. As is standard operating procedure the County Police were called to the scene. A joint investigation with the County Office of the Fire Marshal and the County Police Homicide is now on going.
An autopsy will be required to identify the deceased and determine the cause of death. At this point the incident remains under investigation.
Firefighter/Medics will return to the Bowie community today to visit homes and check for working smoke alarms and offer advice on an escape plan. If you need a working smoke alarm installed in your home please call 311 and ask about the Fire/EMS Departments smoke alarm program.