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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Four Pr. Geo.'s homes catch fire overnight

By Matt Zapotosky

Fires tore through four Prince George's County homes Wednesday night and early Thursday morning injuring four people, and investigators believe at least two of the blazes were sparked by residents trying to find alternative ways to heat their homes.

The fires caused $330,000 in damages, authorities said. Firefighters had to pull one woman from a second floor bedroom window and help her down a ladder.

"We think the homeowners were trying to deal with the power outages in various ways, which led to the fires," said Mark Brady, a Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department spokesman.

The first fire occurred about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Green Hill Avenue in the Greenbelt area. A female resident, alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm, was able to escape the home without injury, authorities said.

That fire began in the basement; the cause remains unclear, authorities said. Investigators estimate damage of about $80,000.

About 2:30 a.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to a second blaze in the 4000 block of Alton Street in Boulevard Heights. All of the residents of the home were able to escape, but a boy about 10 years old and a woman in her 60s were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and other minor injuries, authorities said. The fire was ignited by an unattended candle and caused about $30,000 in damage, authorities said.

The third fire, which occurred about 4:30 a.m. in the 4500 block of Woodgate Way in Glenn Dale, was perhaps the most dramatic. Fire officials said they rescued a woman in her 60s from the second floor of her home using a ladder. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of second degree burns and smoke inhalation, but is expected to survive.

A firefighter was also injured fighting the blaze, which caused about $80,000 in damage. Investigators are still probing what started the fire.

The final fire occurred about 5:30 a.m. in the 5000 block of Pierce Avenue in College Park, authorities said. A family inside, alerted to the blaze by a smoke alarm, was able to escape unharmed, authorities said. The fire is believed to have been sparked by a fireplace in the basement, and it caused about $140,000 in damage.

Brady said firefighters had to proceed cautiously to the scene of each fire because of the snow and ice -- but the problems were minimal. All, he said, came after the rush hour traffic crush.

Brady said in the Greenbelt fire, a fire truck that was not among the initial responders got stuck going up a hill, and throughout the night, one or two ambulances got stuck in the snow transporting patients to the hospital. He said those ambulances were not carrying critical patients, and other ambulances picked up the patients.

By Matt Zapotosky  | January 27, 2011; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Manufacturing and preparing narcotics must be hazardous in cold weather.

Posted by: slipuvalad | January 27, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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