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Beltsville blaze at firearms warehouse causes $1M in damages

Firefighters responding to a blaze at a Beltsville warehouse belonging to a firearms dealer arrived to heavy smoke, fire -- and the sound of ammunition discharging, according to the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

No injuries were reported, but it took some 80 firefighters and paramedics approximately 90 minutes to put out a fire that caused an estimated $1 million in damages, authorities said.

At the fire. (Pr. George's Fire/EMS)

Firefighters responded to a warehouse at 11323 Old Baltimore Pike at about 1:45 p.m. Thursday after 911 calls reported a fire and explosion there. Firefighters entered the structure ready to begin work before learning that there was handgun ammunition and related supplies in the area of the fire.

Confronted by that and other evidence of an explosion and heavy smoke that made it difficult to locate the source of the fire, authorities said, firefighters pulled back.

Eventually reinforced, the full crew eventually beat down the fire that had moved into a nearby auto repair shop, authorities said.

The firearms dealer was federally licensed and is cooperating with fire investigators, according to authorities.

-- David P. Marino-Nachison

By Washington Post Editors  |  April 9, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  David P. Marino-Nachison , Fires & Fire Safety , Pr. George's  
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