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Capitol Heights fire takes the life of one

capheightswomanCAPITOL HEIGHTS – A Capitol Heights woman is dead after a fire erupted in a one-story house on Crown Street Sunday morning.

Neighbors called 911 just after 9 a.m. March 5, saying smoke was coming from a house in the 5900 block of the street, located off East Capitol Street near the Washington, D.C. border. Fire officials say the report indicated a woman was still inside the home.

“When the call was dispatched, it only took a few minutes for firefighters from Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station 805 to arrive on the scene,” said Mark Brady, spokesperson for Prince George's County Fire Department. “They encountered heavy smoke coming from the house with residents telling them a woman was still inside.”

As one crew of firefighters advanced a hose line into the home to extinguish the fire, another crew initiated a primary search of the interior. A fire discovered in the rear of the house was extinguished and a deceased person was located.

Fire officials say a neighbor attempted to enter the house to rescue the woman, but due to heavy smoke conditions he was unable to reach the trapped woman.

It took about 10 minutes to bring the fire under control with no other injuries reported, Brady said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. As is standard procedure in any fires that involve a fatality, the Prince George’s County Police Department Homicide Unit will conduct a joint investigation with fire investigators. An autopsy will determine the victim’s cause of death.

“We also have determined there were no working smoke alarms in the house,” Brady said. “I can’t emphasize how important it is to have a working smoke alarm.”

Residents of Prince George’s County can be provided a free smoke alarm by calling 311.

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