MCFRS News Release
Over $2 Million is Fire Damage in Less Than Three Weeks
Montgomery Village Family Escapes Early Morning Blaze
The winter months of November, December, January and February are typically the busiest for Fire Departments in this area. The last couple of weeks have been no exception. In just 17 days, from Sunday, October 29, 2006 thru today, November 15, 2006, there have been over 20 significant fires resulting in over $2 million dollars in damage, causing several injuries and displacing dozens of families in Montgomery County.
Early this morning, shortly after 5:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 15, 2006 units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to the report of house fire at 18903 Lindenhouse Road, in Montgomery Village. First arriving firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions coming from a 2 ½ story single family house. About 75 firefighters were called to the scene of this 2-alarm house fire. It took about 20 minutes to “knock down” the bulk of the fire. There were no injuries.
There were five (5) occupants in the house at the time of the fire, including the adult male and female parents of a newborn infant, a grandmother and another child. They were all sleeping. An automatic, monitored (ADT) alarm is believed to have activated alerting the family to the fire. Upon investigation the adult male found smoke and fire in the garage. He then proceeded to assist his family from the house to the safety of a next-door neighbor’s home. These actions were decisive and life-saving. The neighbor then called 911. Several other 911 calls were also received.
Fire Investigators believe the fire was accidental. The area of origin was the garage. There are several possibilities as to the cause of the fire, but the exact cause is under investigation. Damage is significant and estimated to be nearly $600,000, including over $400,000 to the structure, $150,000 to the contents, about $10,000 to a vehicle parked in the garage. There was approximately $25,000 of collateral heat damage to a next door neighbor’s house. The family of five will be displaced and was assisted by the Red Cross.
There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It's not a question of luck. It's a matter of planning ahead.
Remember – the message is simple:
Develop an Escape Plan – Identify two ways out of each room in your home, identify a meeting place for your family outside, practice your plan at least twice a year when you change your clock. Once Outside – Account for all family members at your designated meeting place, call 911 from a safe location, never go back inside a burning building for any reason.
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives – Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home, additional smoke alarms can be placed in sleeping and kitchen areas, test your smoke alarms monthly, change the battery when you change your clock twice a year, if your smoke alarms are powered by your homes electrical system consider installing battery powered smoke alarms as a back up in case of a power outage.
For a free home safety evaluation in Montgomery County call the hotline at 240.777.2276 to schedule a time.
- Kitchen Fires. Most kitchen fires occur because food is left unattended on the stove or in the oven. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind you to return to the kitchen. Never cook with loose, dangling sleeves that can ignite easily. Heat cooking oils gradually and use extra caution when deep-frying. If a fire breaks out in a pan, put a lid on the pan. Never throw water on a grease fire. Never use a range or stove to heat your home.
- Space Heaters. Buy only Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) approved heaters. Use only the manufacturer's recommended fuel for each heater. Do not use electric space heaters in the bathroom or around other wet areas. Do not dry or store objects on top of your heater. Keep combustibles away from heat sources. Give space heaters space!
- Smoking. We prefer that you don’t smoke at all, but if you must - Don't leave smoking materials unattended. Use "safety ashtrays" with wide lips. Empty all ashtrays into the toilet or a metal container every night before going to bed. Never smoke in bed. Don’t smoke when drowsy.
- Candles. Keep burning candles out of children’s and pet’s reach; keep matches and lighters out of sight and locked away. Make sure they are in stable holders. Do not leave candles unattended – especially around children or pets. Do not place candles near draperies or anything that might easily catch fire. Make sure you put out candles when you go to bed or leave the home.
- Fireplace Ashes. Remember never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house. Have your furnace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Chimney tar build-up can ignite your chimney, roof and the whole house.