Just after 1400 hours, Truck 37 was dispatched,along with units from the 3rd Battalion, to the 2900 block of Sunset Lane in Company 27′s (Morningside) 1st due. Engine Company 26 (District Heights) was first to arrive to find heavy smoke and fire showing from a detached garage to the rear of a house. Upon arrival of Truck 37, Engine 26′s Officer advised that there was possible extension to the house. Truck 37 was given the task of opening up Side C of the house to check for any extension. The crew reported to their assigned position and opened up the Charlie/Delta corner where fire extension proved to be negative. The crew also removed a portion of the wood deck that was burning. Command scaled the incident back to Engine 26 and Truck 37 to wait on Investigators. The Ladder Truck returned to service just after 1530 hours.
With the last call being run around 12:30 am, the unusual quiet at the station was finally broken. Around 4:30pm, company 37 was alerted to the house on fire in Company 29’s area. Truck 37 headed out with 4 volunteers as the 2nd due special service. While in route, communications started getting multiple calls of something on fire in the area of Fairlawn St. Engine 829 arrived on scene and reported a 1 story single family home with fire showing from the roof. Truck 37 arrived as dispatched and split into an interior and exterior crew. The outside crew threw ladders to the Charlie and Delta side of the structure, while the interior began their searches, (proved negative) and began to open up for the engine companies. Crews inside the structure encountered fire on the second floor that extended into the knee walls. The bulk of the fire was knocked within 15 minutes after opening up inside the structure. Truck 37 operated for an hour and a half before returning to service.
While the Truck and the A Chief were finishing up on a fire in Company 46′s area, transfer companies along with companies clearing the fire noticed a large column of smoke just inside the beltway. Chief 37A was able to clear the fire in 46′s area to respond on the first due box. Shortly prior to the arrival of the A Chief the engine from 38 went on the scene with smoke and fire showing requesting a second alarm. First alarm units began setting up for heavy duty operations while also trying to determine what was on fire. It was determined that a storage yard full of roofing materials(foam, shingles, tar paper and tar pots) that were on fire along with a large storage type building. The fire was threatening a occupied building on side delta that was a separate business. Units took positions around this building in case there was extension. This is were the Rescue Engine from Kentland and the Engine from West Lanham Hills were positioned along with Truck 37 and Tower 20. At some point the burning materials turned into a burning flow similar to lava, which made its way towards the delta exposure where the units from 28 and 33 were positioned. The crews were able to keep the fire from extending to the building, unfortunately the apparatus were not as lucky. Thankfully all personnel escaped with only a couple minor injuries. The incident grew to three plus alarms including foam units.
You can help support both companies by contributing to their go fund me accounts.
Just as dinner was being prepared PSC dropped the box for 3913 Southern Ave. in Company 17′s area for the reported apartment fire. First arriving units reported smoke showing from side A of the building. Truck 37 dispatched as the second due truck took a position on side C and had fire showing from a terrace level apartment. The crew split and went to work, the outside crew laddered the building and vented, while the inside crew searched the floor above and top floor along with checking for extension. Once the fire was knocked the crew helped overhaul the fire apartment and assisted investigations. The Truck returned to service about an hour and half later.
Just as the day was getting started a box was dispatched for the 6500 blk of Clayton Ln in company 27′s area for the reported house fire. First arriving units reported smoke showing from a one story single family home. Upon entering the house crews realized they had a basement fire. Truck 37 dispatched and arrived as the second due truck. The crew went to work laddering side C of the home, while also conducting a search on division 1 and checking for extension. The truck remained on the scene for about 40 mins before returning to service.
Just after 2130, Truck 37 was alerted as the 1st due truck company to the 11000 BLK of Harrington Court in Largo for a reported house on fire. While units from the 1st and 3rd Battalion were respond, the address was changed to the 300 BLK of Bennington Ct. Minutes later units arrived to find a 2 story single family dwelling with fire through the roof. The Working Fire Dispatch “WFD” was sounded and Chief 33A assumed the command. Due to Rescue Engine 33 being moved forward as the first arriving special service, Truck 37 who arrived at the same time split into an exterior and interior team to ensure ladder placement, and searches were complete. Members laddered the “C” side of the house and performed primary searches in the basement and first floor. Later during the incident the Truck was reassigned to division 2 to open up for the Engine Company. Units remained on the scene for about 2 hours before returning to service.
Saturday Night the membership joined together to Celebrate the 2015 Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Just like any department, members work hard day in and day out to provide the highest level of professional service to the Community. Here at Ritchie we go far beyond just doing that. The members not only staff the apparatus and maintain the station around the clock as volunteers, they become a family, brother and sisters together to build a bond so strong nothing can break it. This event is a way for the members to come together and reflect on the years past while relaxing and not worrying about the high demand of the job we perform each and everyday.
The Department also uses this time to recognize the Top 10 members who have responded to the most calls the previous year, as well as announce the Jason Coburn Most Promising New Member Award and the Joseph Humphrey Firefighter of the Year Award.
Firefighter of the Year – William Soehner
Most Promising New Member – Bryan Wright
Number 1 Runner – William Soehner
Number 2 Runner – Bryan Wright
Number 3 Runner – Randy O’Sullivan
Number 4 Runner – Kevin Cole
Number 5 Runner – Chris Wakefield
Number 6 Runner – Wynton Woodson
Number 7 Runner – Billy Kissinger
Number 8 Runner – John Maine
Number 9 Runner - Jamie Hayden
Number 10 Runner – Chris Wilson
We would also like to thank the banquet committee for putting this great event on for the membership, the Upper Marlboro VFD for hosting our event, and the Kentland VFD for staffing our station for the night.
The Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Recruitment and Retention open house on April 12, 2015 from 11am-4pm. We currently have vacancies in our bunk room for live-in members as well as recruiting non live-in firefighters and EMT’s , Out of state firefighters and EMT’s, and administrative membership. If you are interested, please attend our open house on April 12, 2015. Food and drinks will be provided.
It is with a very heavy heart that the officers and members of the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department announce the untimely passing of Patricia Cunningham. Patricia was the daughter of past Chief and life member William Cunningham Sr and sister of current Deputy Chief William Cunningham Jr. The Cunningham family has been active at Ritchie for several decades, with many of the members growing up with Patricia as she spent her childhood years running around the firehouse like most of us in a fire department family. The thoughts and prayers of all of us are with the Cunningham family during this difficult time and we are all here for you if you need anything.
At this time, there have been no determinations made on any type of funeral service. As any arrangements are made, we will announce the wishes of the family if they choose to do so.
A GoFundMe account has been established to assist the family with burial costs. The link is below.