Just around 11am on Friday morning, neighbors called in for smoke coming from the roof of a home in the 9100 block of Dangerfield Rd in Company 25′s area (Clinton). Truck 32 was the first arriving unit and reported a one story single family dwelling with fire showing from sides Alpha and Charlie of the home. The crew from Truck 32 and Engine 29 made a quick knock on the fire while Truck 37 was assigned RIT alongside the truck crew from Waldorf (Charles County), working together clearing windows, securing utilities and setup RIT on side Alpha before going back in service about 45 minutes later.
Just after noon, Truck 37 and Chief 37B took in a call for a reported townhouse on fire in the 7000 Blk of Marbury Court in District Heights. Engine company 26 reported a 2 story middle of the row townhouse with smoke showing from the second floor. Truck 37 arrived and took a position side alpha, the crew split into the usual inside and outside crews. Outside crews threw 2 16′ ladders and a 24, and vented the second floor windows side A. The interior crew was met at the top of the steps with fire, with the engine from 26 putting a quick knock on the fire the primary searches were conducted. Two dogs were found in the house, unfortunately the puppy on the fire floor perished, but the male dog in the basement survived. Chief 37b had interior and the crews picked up and were back in service in just over and hour.
Right after lunch, Truck 37 was alerted to Palmer Rd for the apartment fire. Later that evening around 1900 hrs, the Truck crew was left with little time to let their dinner settle before being alerted to the 3800 Blk of Clark St. in company 17′s area for the reported house on fire. First arriving units reported smoke showing from the front door of the single family dwelling. First arriving engine crews were faced with mechanical issues as well as a dead hydrant allowing this fire to grow rapidly from the smoke showing status to fire showing from several windows within a few minutes. Truck 37 was alerted as the 3rd due special service on the run and arrived in that position, immediately setting up and preparing to handle all RIT responsibilities. The crew completed a 360 of the structure clearing windows and gaining additional access from the exterior of the building.
Photo is courtesy of Morningside VFD
Just after noon on Saturday, PSC began receiving multiple calls for a reported apartment building on fire in the 900 blk of Palmer Road in Oxon Hill. Engine Company 47 arrived to the reported location to find fire showing from the roof of a 3 story garden style apartment building. The 2nd alarm was quickly requested with the lengthy history of fires in this particular complex and what the crews know about their area and how to deal with them. Truck 37 along with the A and B Chief responded with a total of 6. Company 37 arrived and staged for a few minutes, eventually being sent to the delta exposure to check the attic and do a quick search, both with negative results. Command redeployed the truck to the fire apartment for overhaul before returning to service in just under 45 minutes.
Just before 8pm on Friday evening, the box alarm was sounded for the reported house on fire in the area of Southbound Crain Highway and Mitchellville Road, with PSC receiving multiple calls for this incident, Truck 37 was alerted to respond along with the A and B Chief. Truck 43 was first to arrive reporting fire showing from a 1 story brick home with a basement with Engine company 16 arrived laying a line and stretched a pre-connect attack line. Truck 37 arrived and began performing duties such as running lights to the rear and removing the wood from the windows on side Charlie as this structure appeared to be vacant. A water supply issue held crews up from making an interior attack, but the issue was quickly resolved and a coordinated interior attack was made. Engine company 16 and Truck 37 made entry, performed searches and hit hot spots. Company 37 picked up and cleared the incident in just under 2 hours.
As Christmas started to come to an end, PSC dispatched a box to 3405 Pearl Dr. in Company 29′s area. Truck 37 was dispatched as the first due truck on the box. The truck arrived behind the Engine from 26, who arrived with fire showing from a terrace level apartment. The truck crew split into the usual inside and outside teams. The inside team searched all four terrace level apartments (negative) along with opening up for the engine company. The outside crew laddered the building and controlled utilities. Once it was confirmed that there was no extension to upper apartments command scaled the incident back to 26 and 37. The truck was on the scene for just under an hour.
The silence of Christmas morning was broken around 2:15 AM after multiple calls came pouring in for “The House on Fire, Across From…”. Truck 37 was alerted to the house on fire in the 900 Block of Booker Dr. in Capitol Heights as the second due special service. Shortly after leaving the station, units were informed that one of the two occupants of the home was still trapped inside and first arriving units came back with a return of a home well involved. Truck 37 arrived as the first due special service to heavy fire on the A/B side of the structure and the crew went to work completing the first due special service responsibilities of laddering the structure, while gaining access to the home for the attempted rescue. Interior and exterior crews faced an added hazard of electrical lines draping the home. Despite the efforts of the crews on the scene, the homeowner was found deceased in the home. We send our thoughts and prayers to those involved and affected.
At around 10pm on Sunday evening, Truck 37 along with other first and third battalion companies where alerted to the house fire with a report of people trapped in the 4400 Blk of Arnold Rd in Suitland. Truck 37 was alerted as the second due special service on the call reporting to side charlie on arrival, throwing ladders to the charlie and delta sides of the home and completing searches. Interior crews where met with difficult living conditions making an aggressive attack difficult. The fire eventually got through the roof causing and evacuation of the home. No injuries where reported on this incident.
A little after 11pm on Friday evening, A child called his mother and told her their house was on fire. The called 911 which brought the assignment to the 11600 Blk of Marjorie Dr with Truck 37 as the second due special service. While enroute, PSC advised the child may still be trapped inside of the house. Before arriving, Truck 37 was told they would need to assume the first due special service responsibilities. Engine Company 46 arrived on scene with fire showing from side Alpha and Charlie of a two story single family home. Truck 37 arrived shortly after and began its first due responsibilities with the outside crew throwing ladders and venting sides Alpha and Charlie while the interior crews conducted searches which proved negative. After concluding the search, the crew began to open up for the engine companies as the fire had spread from the first floor into the attic space and through the roof. Truck 37 remained on the scene for a little over 2 hours before returning to service.
While families across the Country were enjoying the festivities of Thanksgiving, membership of the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department spent the day together as a family; staffing multiple pieces of apparatus, cooking breakfast and dinner and enjoying the day. Between the staffed Engine, Truck, and Mini Pumper, the membership had a steady day of runs with multiple street alarms, box alarms, medicals, and service calls. While the day was steady, it began to slow down for us right around 4 O’clock to enjoy our meal as a family but things quickly changed.
Just after dinner, members were starting house clean up when the Engine Company was alerted to the Beltway for a car accident on the Inner Loop near Branch Ave. This area of the beltway isn’t typically covered by Ritchie but because of a box alarm that came out just prior to the run in the South end of the County, many units were out of position. While the Engine was clearing the accident, PSC requested the location of several units and advised them to “standby to copy”. While this was happening the station was alerted for the truck to respond on the same box alarm that was being dispatched for the other units.
PSC sounded the 3 beeps bringing units to Good Hope Ave in Company 29′s area for a reported building on fire with people trapped. The initial assignment didn’t include the Engine Company but because of their close location, they requested to run the assignment, and were assigned as the 1st due Engine while the truck was alerted as the 2nd due truck. A couple of minutes later, Truck 26 arrived on the scene and advised they had smoke showing from the 2nd floor balcony with people jumping to safety. Moments later Engine 372 (837B, 1989 Seagrave) arrived on the scene, dropping a line at the driveway for the second due engine. The crew swiftly deployed their standpipe racks to the second floor, where the truck crew advised of the location of the fire. While the Engine Company overcame challenges with the standpipe system, Company 23 joined 37 with their line and both crews advanced down the hallway. At the fire apartment, crews were met at the door with fire conditions and both crews advanced their lines into the apartment, beating back the fire. While crews were making the push, several loud explosions occurred inside the apartment, forcing the crews to retreat back into the hallway. Once the scene stabilized, the crews made another push back into the apartment and extinguished the remaining fire on division 2.
While the Engine Company was operating, Truck 37 was put to work on side alpha. Truck 37 was 2nd due, and would normally take a side charlie position but was redeployed to side alpha to assist with multiple rescues from balconies, while the interior crew was sent to assist with occupants trapped in their apartments in and above the fire floor. Command requested the 2nd alarm for additional assistance on the scene, and ultimately requested the 3rd alarm for manpower. Both the Engine and Truck operated on the scene for several hours before returning to service.
While we were operating on the fire ground, Assistant Chief Bernard was back at the station working in Charles County Engine 2, and Tower 7 as they were transferred to our station. They ran multiple calls including back to back box alarms while we were out. Thank you for the fill in.
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