TEMPLE HILLS – A woman in her 80s and her son in his 60s died after a fire erupted on Nov. 15 in their Temple Hills home.
Firefighters from the Prince George's County Fire Department responded around 12:30 p.m. to the 5200 block of Lorraine Drive near Old Branch Avenue for a reported house fire with two people trapped.
Prior to firefighters arriving on the scene, a neighbor called 911 and provided valuable information as to the possible location of the occupants. The information was relayed to responding firefighters by dispatchers.
Upon arrival, firefighters encountered fire showing from the basement area of a one-story house and extending throughout the first floor.
According to fire officials on the scene, minutes before firefighters arrived several neighbors heard the woman calling for help as they were breaking out a bedroom window in an attempt to rescue the woman who was in a wheelchair. However, due to the intense heat and flames, they were unable to reach the woman. Her son was seen on the front porch calling for help before he went back into the house to rescue his mother.
“First arriving crews initiated a simultaneous search for the trapped occupants and stretched hose lines into the structure to extinguish the fire,” said Mark Brady, a spokesperson for the Prince George's County Fire Department. “An adult female and adult male were quickly located and brought to the exterior where medics initiated treatment.”
Both patients were found to have no pulse and were not breathing, and were quickly transported to a nearby hospital while life support measures were being administered. Despite the efforts of firefighters, medics and hospital staff, both patients succumbed to their injuries a short time after arriving at the hospital.
Two county firefighters sustained second-degree burns to a small area of their bodies. Both were taken to the burn unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. The firefighters were treated and released.
Brady said firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene.
Fire investigators believe the fire originated in the basement and extended to the first floor. Fire loss to the structure and contents is estimated at $80,000. The status of a smoke alarm and exact cause of the fire is undetermined at this point, but it was the second fire in two weeks that took the lives of two people in Prince George's County.