Fires and Accidents: 19th Avenue

Chief 11, Michael Hughes, Branchville Vol. Fire Co., was the first fire department unit on the scene of a working building fire in Adelphi, MD, January 25, 2002. He checked on the scene and reported heavy fire showing.

Concerned neighbors ran over to him and nearly pulled him out of his car. They were advising that by numerous people were still trapped. Hughes ran to the back of his car, grabbed his gear, and headed for the building to attempt the rescues. As he approached the front door Truck 92, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, pulled up.

Hughes then directed the truck officer to, “get in there and get those kids.” Hughes assumed command and began directing the incoming units.

Engine 341, Adelphi, arrived next and ran an attack line to the second floor, where the fire was raging.

Engine 111, Branchville, arrived next. Assistant Chief Michael Burrier, riding as engine officer, directed the firefighters to advance a handline to the floor above the fire. He then took a 24’ ladder to the rear and began to assist with rescues. Burrier said, “The people were ready to jump. No sooner than I planted the ladder in the ground two people fell at my feet.”

Units from College Park took their truck to the rear and assisted with the rescue effort. A total of 12 people were rescued from the rear.

Engine 111’s crew, Branchville, was stopped on their way to the third floor by a member of Engine 341’s crew and advised that a second line was needed in the fire apartment. They took the line inside and used the fog nozzle to ventilate the room. As the smoke lifted they found an adult female unconscious, and without pulse or respirations, on the floor. The victim was moved to the exterior by Branchville Firefighter Lani Lindsey with some help from others.

Unfortunately, the patient later succumbed to her injuries.

Chief 11A, Charles Bailey, assisted in the rear with rescues and subsequent interior searches. Chief 11 maintained command throughout the incident.

Units from Hyattsville, Chillum, Berwyn Heights, Silver Spring (Montgomery County) also assisted along with numerous command officers.

Text by Charles Bailey of Company 11, Branchville Volunteer Fire Company.

Additional Information at:

Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department
The Washington Post

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This page © Copyright 2002, Thomas L. Tanner, Jr. unless otherwise noted.