House fire claims the life of county resident

BeltsvilleBELTSVILLE – An early Saturday morning house fire on May 12 in Beltsville has taken the life of a mother of three children.

Just after 3:30 a.m. Prince George's County 911 center started to receive calls from neighbors in the 11400 block of Howard Court just off of Baltimore Avenue for a house on fire.

"When firefighters arrived on the scene they encountered heavy fire coming from both floors of the two-story house," said Mark Brady, spokesperson for Prince George's County Fire Department. "The fire was so heavy that firefighters couldn't get inside the house at first and had to battle the flames from the exterior."

Once firefighters were able to enter the house, they located a female in the front living room of the home. They quickly removed the woman to paramedics outside, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fire Investigators believe the fire started on the first floor in the rear of the house and extended to the upper floors causing a partial collapse of the roof and the rear porch.

In all, it took about 60 firefighters nearly 90 minutes to bring the fire under control with no injuries reported.

Fire officials on the scene confirmed that the victim's children were spending the night with a family member at the time of the fire.

Fire loss is estimated at $200,000. The status of a working smoke alarm is unknown. First arriving firefighters and command officers did not hear a smoke alarm, and one could not be located after the fire was extinguished.

This was the ninth fatal house fire in Prince George's County this year. There were only five in all of last year.

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