HILLCREST HEIGHTS – A Hillcrest Heights apartment building went up in flames early Tuesday morning resulting in 30 residents losing everything.
Firefighters from the Prince George's County Fire Department responded to the Carriage Hills Apartments in the 3300 block of Curtis Drive in Suitland just after 7 a.m. for an apartment building on fire with people trapped.
“When our firefighters arrived on the scene they encountered heavy fire conditions on both floors of the two-story building,” said Mark Brady, spokesperson for the county fire department. “With the fire so intense, and for their safety, we just could not allow crews to go in. They had to battle the fire outside, and within minutes of arriving on the scene, a partial collapse of the roof occurred.”
Several residents were also trapped on their balconies calling for help. Firefighters used ground ladders to rescue them.
With heavy fire conditions and more people trapped, a second alarm was requested, bringing more than 50 firefighters from Fort Washington, Bladensburg, Brandywine and other areas throughout the county to help battle the fire.
County medics treated five residents for smoke inhalation.
It took more than 100 firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control, Brady said. One building is a total loss, while the second suffered extensive damage to the roof area.
Red Cross will be helping 21 adults and nine children find a place to stay. Also, the Prince George's County police and fire departments will be providing toys to the displaced children so they will have toys to open on Christmas Day.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials believe the fire started on the first floor and extended to the top floor and roof area.