Firefighters in Prince George’s County, Maryland say a backdraft occurred during a house fire Sunday evening in the Woodmore section of the county. Despite firefighters operating inside the home at the time of the explosion, no one was injured.
The fire was reported just before 9:00 PM at 2304 Prima Way. According to information provided by Prince George’s County Fire/ EMS Department Chief Spokesman Mark Brady, there was fire showing from the garage when the first crews arrived. The large, two-story, single-family home had residential sprinklers.
As the firefighters began an interior attack, started ventilation and mounted a search for occupants, the fire was extending to the second floor and attic. About eight minutes into the incident an explosion occurred. It was described by the incident commander, Kentland VFD Chief Tony Kelleher, as a “backdraft”.
Here is an excerpt from Brady’s release early this morning:
Firefighters standing at the front door of the house were blown 15-20 feet into the front yard, firefighters performing exterior ventilation reported their helmets being blown off, windows were blown out and Volunteer Chief Kelleher described a “fire-ball” that blew out of the attic area on the opposite side of where the fire had originated.
Not immediately knowing the status of all firefighters, Incident Command requested additional resources to the scene and ordered the evacuation of all personnel from the house. Paramedics tended to two firefighters that were blown into the front yard and a personnel accountability check was performed with all personnel being accounted for.
No firefighters required hospitalization. The three people who live in the house were not home when the fire broke out.
According to Brady, the unsprinklered garage and attic areas are the only portions of the home that had significant fire damage. Damage to the home is estimated at $250,000.