Prince George's house fire kills father, 2 young daughters


Approximate location of Thursday's fatal fire. Map by Jennifer Peebles/Washington Examiner. Local,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A father and two of his young daughters were killed and three other family members were injured in a house fire in Glenarden early Thursday morning, fire officials said.

Firefighters were alerted to the fire at a single-family home on the 8600 block of Leslie Avenue around 4 a.m. Thursday. They removed a 36-year-old man and three of his daughters -- ages 4, 8 and 11 -- from the burning home.

None of the four was breathing or had a pulse, so firefighters started CPR and paramedics took the victims to hospitals. A short time later, the father, the 8-year-old and the 4-year-old were pronounced dead, officials said.

A pulse was restored in the 11-year-old girl, who was in grave condition at a hospital Thursday afternoon, fire officials said.

Before firefighters arrived, the mother, 33, and the twin sister of the dead 8-year-old girl escaped the house by jumping out a window. They were both being treated for smoke inhalation and were in good condition at hospitals Thursday afternoon.

Prince George's fire spokesman Mark Brady said the department is not releasing the names of the victims until they are confirmed by the medical examiner.

Two emergency responders were injured during the incident. A firefighter sustained second-degree burns and a paramedic supervisor slipped on ice. Both have since been released from hospitals.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said that "the only indication is that this is nothing more than a tragic, accidental fire."

"My heart goes out to them," said Shamika Pratt, who lives two doors down from the family. The girls in the family would come over and play with Pratt's daughter almost every day, she said.

"I couldn't imagine that mother's pain right now," Pratt said.

Firefighters did not find a smoke alarm in the home, Bashoor said. Firefighters canvassed the neighborhood on Thursday afternoon to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and to talk to residents about fire prevention.

"We shouldn't have any more fires in a home without a smoke alarm," Bashoor said.

Prince George's County residents who need smoke detectors can call 301-864-SAFE (7233).

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