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Firefighters injured battling blaze

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Published on: Wednesday, January 02, 2013

By Jim Davis

Three firefighters were injured while battling a house fire in Temple Hills around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26. The blaze displaced 13 residents, including five children.

Prince George’s County fire investigators have ruled the fire accidental. Investigators believe a malfunctioning dehumidifier was the cause.

Firefighters arrived at the home in the 2900 block of Colebrooke Drive, near Iverson Mall, just after 3 a.m. and spotted smoke and flames coming from the one-story dwelling. Firefighters were also informed that three people were still inside the burning house, said Mark Brady, chief spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.

Firefighters located a fire in the basement and began to extinguish it. Three firefighters positioned themselves at the top of a stairwell leading to the basement to “hold the stairs.” Firefighters used a charged hose line to prevent the fire from extending from the basement to the first floor.

Despite that the heat rising from the basement fire was nearly unbearable, firefighters held their position at the top of the stairs and were successful in preventing any significant fire extension to the top floor. They brought the fire under control within 20 minutes of arriving on the scene, Brady said.

The three injured firefighters who were transported to the Washington Burn Center suffered minor burns to their arms, neck and wrist, said Brady. They were expected be released by the end of that day.

The three people who were reported as still in the house were later located safely outside. Families should have an evacuation plan in case of emergencies. The plan should include where to meet if a fire occurs. Meeting places can be a tree in the front yard, by the family’s car or on the sidewalk in front of the house, fire officials said.

Prince George’s County residents can call the Fire Department at (301) 583- 2200 to have their local firefighters provide fire safety tips and to install a free smoke alarm.

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