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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

4 Juveniles Charged with Crime of Arson

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

Personnel from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Office of the Fire Marshal have charged 4 individuals with setting fire to a temporary classroom in Laurel, Maryland.

At about 6:10 pm, Monday, June 30, 2014, firefighters responded to a report of a temporary classroom on fire in the 13000 block of Laurel Bowie Road in Laurel, Maryland. Fire/EMS units arrived to find a fire in a classroom trailer at Deerfield Run Elementary School. The fire was extinguished shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene.

Fire Investigators examined the scene and determined the cause of the fire to be incendiary.

On August 15, 2014, personnel from the Office of the Fire Marshal charged (3)13 year old juvenile males and (1) 15 year old juvenile male with 1st Degree Arson, 2nd Degree Arson, 1st Degree Malicious Burning, and 2nd Degree Malicious Burning among other charges that stemmed from the incident.

If found guilty, the charges listed above carry maximum penalties that could potentially keep these individuals in a juvenile facility until their 21st birthday.

In general, this calendar year’s arson crimes have displayed an overall decrease of approximately 8% compared to the same time frame of calendar year 2013 (January-July).  Additionally, case closure rates are well above National levels (15% National average closure rate versus 24%) for the same time period.  Arson arrests are up approximately 50% compared to last calendar year (January-July).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Residents Rescued from Temple Hills Apartment Fire

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

Two residents of a Temple Hills apartment required assistance in escaping a fire this morning.  At around 12:15 am firefighters were alerted to an apartment fire in the 4500 block of 23rd Parkway.  Fire/EMS units arrived at a 3-story garden style apartment building with smoke coming out of a 2nd floor apartment.  Two residents of a third floor unit could not escape by way of the stairwell due to the high heat and thick smoke so they retreated to their exterior balcony.

As one crew of firefighters went to locate and extinguish the fire on the 2nd floor another crew used ladders to remove the 3rd floor occupants to safety.  A complete search of the building determined all other occupants were able to escape safely before the Fire Departments arrival.  The fire was extinguished within 8 minutes of arrival.

The fire appears to have originated in an apartments living room.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Fire loss is estimated at $10,000.  Occupants of 2 apartments are displaced as a result of the fire.  A total of 5 adults and 3 children did not require assistance of the Citizen Services Unit or the Red Cross and made their own temporary living arrangements.

Remember to plan an escape from your home that identifies 2 ways out of every room.  Practice your plan several times a year and include a safe meeting place outside.  Once outside - stay outside.

Retreating to the balcony in an apartment building is certainly an acceptable means of egress.  If you need to use your balcony remember to close the door behind you and do everything you can to catch the attention of someone on the ground by shouting or waving.  Await the fire departments arrival for rescue.  If you have your phone with you, call 911 and inform call takers of your exact location.