PGFD firefighter injured in Fort Washington apartment building fire

Photo: PGFD firefighter Mike Harrington

A Prince George's County firefighter was hurt while battling a two-alarm apartment fire Sunday afternoon in Fort Washington.

The first frantic 911 calls indicated people may have been trapped in the building in the 500 block of Wilson Bridge Drive, which generated a massive fire response. With some crews coming from as far away as Fairfax County, 72 firefighters battled the blaze and the heat.

The families got out okay, but the heat took its toll on at least one firefighter.

A grandmother and her family, including a 12-day-old infant narrowly escaped from their third floor apartment.

"It was horrible...we heard the smoke alarm go off...we didn't think nothing of it until I looked out the window and saw the flames...and we all just rushed out of the building," Patrinia Jordan says. "It was just terrifying...I was just scared...scared for the kids...they were just crying."

Investigators believe the fire started in a second floor unit of the garden apartments, then spread rapidly.

"It went out...up into the third floor...then into the roof and burned the roof front to back," says Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.

Red Cross is on the. Scene, assisting the displaced families. Some may be able to get back into their units, depending on how long the gas and electricity will be off.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital to be treated for a hand injury and heat exhaustion, but he's expected to be okay.

Sunday evening, Mark Brady, PGFD PIO, reports that the fire was accidental and attributed to an overloaded power strip. Fire loss is estimated at $150, 000.