Five firefighters and one civilian were injured in a blaze in Temple Hills, officials said.
About 10 p.m. Thursday, firefighters and medics were alerted to a fire in the 3700 block of Huntley Square Drive. Upon arrival, they found a fire in a terrace-level apartment at a garden-style condominium that has three stories in the front and four stories in the back.
Some firefighters went to search for trapped occupants while one team of firefighters started positioning themselves with hose lines in a stairwell. A sudden rush of superheated air escaped from the burning apartment and filled the stairwell, causing four firefighters to sustain minor injuries. They were treated at a hospital and released Thursday night, Prince George's County fire officials said.
One firefighter found an occupant in the apartment above the one on fire who had sustained burns. Her apartment had thick, toxic smoke, and she and this firefighters couldn't escape through the stairwell, so they stayed in place until other firefighters helped them out of the apartment, officials said. While they were waiting to be rescued, the firefighter and the woman took turns breathing fresh air from the firefighter's face piece.
The woman was admitted to a burn unit. The firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation and was released Friday morning. The woman and the firefighter are expected to fully recover.
Three other occupants were removed from apartments and were not injured. Seven apartments -- occupied by 12 adults and four children -- were declared uninhabitable, officials said.
The fire, which was accidental and caused by unattended cooking, was extinguished in 20 minutes. Damage is estimated at $25,000.