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Blaze kills Oxon Hill man

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Published on: Thursday, November 29, 2012

By Jim Davis

An early Sunday morning house fire killed an Oxon Hill man. His death is the eighth fire fatality in Prince George’s County this year.

Just before 5:30 a.m, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Glass Manor Fire Station 842, Silver Hill Station 829 and other nearby companies responded to the 5100 block of Boulder Drive in the Barnaby Manor community for the reported house fire with people trapped.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the one-story house. The 50-year-old man was still trapped inside the burning home.

When crews entered the house to attack the fire, they found the man in the kitchen. He was suffering from burns on 70-80 percent of his body. Firefighters quickly removed him from the house, and he was transported to a local burn unit, where he died from his injuries Sunday afternoon.

A woman was also transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. She has been listed in fair condition, said Mark Brady, PGFD public information officer.

Neighbors said the man helped his wife out of the house and went back inside to try to extinguish the fire, but he never came back out. One neighbor attempted to enter the house to look for the man, but due to heavy smoke and fire conditions he had to get out.   

Prince George’s County fire investigators were called to the scene to investigate, Brady said. They believe the cause of the fire was a kerosene space heater. Fire officials said the man may have been trying to fill up the kerosene heater while it was burning, causing the fumes to ignite.

“That is one thing you do not want to do,” Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said. “You need to fill the kerosene heater outside the house without it burning.”

Brady also said that kerosene heaters should be placed in a safe place, away from combustible items, such as paper, furniture, rugs, carpet, or any other combustible or flammable object that can cause fires.

Using fuel other than 1-K grade kerosene and operating the heater near fumes or fuel can lead to explosions. If kerosene spills, clean it up right away.

Fire loss is estimated at $50,000.

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