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Oxon Hill church goes up in flames


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Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County firefighters battled heavy fire Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the First Wesleyan Church in Oxon Hill.

Photo by Jim Davis. Prince George’s County firefighters battled heavy fire Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the First Wesleyan Church in Oxon Hill.

Published on: Friday, January 04, 2013

By Jim Davis

An early morning fire on New Year’s Day caused significant damage to an Oxon Hill church.

Just after 6 a.m. Jan. 1, Prince George’s County firefighters responded to the First Wesleyan Church in the 1800 block of Iverson Street in Oxon Hill for a reported fire.

Heavy fire was consuming the one-story church with flames extending to the roof, according to Mark Brady, chief spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.

“A second alarm was quickly transmitted, brining over 60 more firefighters to help battle the fire,” Brady said. “But, the majority of the additional alarm was on stand-by and eventually was placed in service after the initial alarm of firefighters gained control of the fire.”

Firefighters controlled the fire in about 30 minutes, Brady said.

While some suspect the fire was electrical in nature, investigators spotted two specific hot spots.

“Two totally different separate parts of the church could be considered a point of origin. And any time that occurs it’s a red flag for fire investigators,” Brady said.

Church officials said they have not had any problems, such as vandalism or conflicts with neighbors.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials were called to the scene to assist Prince George’s County fire investigators in investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

Fire investigators do not believe this fire is suspicious, but their investigation remains open and ongoing.

There was a service at the church on New Year’s Eve that started at 10 p.m. Midway through the service, the neighborhood lost power. Church members concluded their service and left the building before power was restored.

There were no injuries reported, and preliminary fire loss is estimated at $100,000.

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