Several people were displaced after an accidental fire started in an assisted living center for senior citizens in College Park Saturday. No one was injured.
About 2:30 p.m., Prince Georges County Police officer saw heavy black smoke from the 6th floor of an apartment building at 4711 Berwyn House Road.
The 7-story building was an assisted living center. The Spellman House Apartments are located at that address according to an online directory.
The two officers went into the building and to the 6th floor. The hallway was beginning to fill with smoke. The officers banged on the door to try and alert anyone who might have been inside. Fearing the worst, the officers forced their way into the apartment without any protective gear and performed a search. The apartment was filled with smoke and heat. They did not find anyone inside, so made their way back downstairs, assisting residents along the way.
The building's sprinkler system had activated and held the spread of the fire. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the remaining hot spots.
About 50 residents evacuated and were sheltered in the lobby before they were cleared to return to their apartments about 3:15 p.m.
No one was injured. One officer was evaluated for exposure to smoke, but did not go to the hospital.
The residents of three apartments were displaced.
The fire appears to have been accidental, possibly caused by an unattended candle.