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Photo Galleries» Ron Graves - Bladensburg VFD

Heavy fire greets Prince Georges Firefighters
by Chief Randy Kuenzli

     At 5:44 am Saturday morning, Public Service Communications struck the street assignment on Box 4-14 for a reported house fire at 3713 Taylor Street. Alerted for the call were Engine Companies - 4, 2 & 9, Truck Company 3, Rescue Squad 1 and Battalion Chief 4. Upon the arrival of Chief 9 (Kuenzli), who assumed the Incident Command, PSC was given a return of a 2.5 story, balloon frame, type III construction with heavy fire conditions on all three floors, high power electrical distribution lines on fire directly overhead and gave the orders to sound the evacuation tones. As crews were pulling back, IC reported a partial collapse as the second and top floors began to fall inward.

     Telesquirt 9 was positioned on side one for elevated master stream operations while Engine 22 placed a monitor nozzle in service on side four. The initial attack lines were kept in service but were redirected to now protect the exposures. Companies encountered low water pressures during the initial defensive operations and the IC requested additional engines with large diameter hose. A call was also place to WSSC (water company) requesting they boost the water pressure. WSSC reported opening several valves in the area and within minutes we had better pressure. The second occupant was located, he had escaped without injury. The property owner confirmed the house was to have been vacant.

     There were no firefighter injuries in spite of the conditions from the recent snow fall and the temperatures being in the low twenties. The house was a total loss. There was no update available on the injured civilian who had been transported to Washington Hospital Center's Medstar, the regional trauma and burn center. Additional engines on the water supply assignment were: E441, E121, & E331. All units were cleared by 0921 hours.

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