Update on injured DC firefighters. FF Charles Ryan still in critical condition.

Previous coverage of the fire including fireground audio

Below is more information on the five DC firefighters injured during a house fire early yesterday morning in Northeast Washington. Critically burned is Firefighter Charles A. "Chucky" Ryan III. Ryan, who is also the chief of the Riverdale VFD in Prince George's County, suffered second and third degree burns over 40% of his body. Below are press releases from the DC Fire & EMS Department and PGFD, along with a message from Riverdale VFD's website.

Press release from DC Fire & EMS Department:


Five firefighters taken to hospital, four admitted

Shortly after 12:30a on Friday, April 8th, Units from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department were dispatched to a report of a house on fire in the 800 block 48th Pl NE.  Within minutes firefighters arrived on the scene at 813 48th Place, Northeast and encountered fire showing from a one- story, wood-frame single family house.  It was reported that the building was being evacuated.

Moments later additional crews arrived on the scene, including Rescue Squad 3 (RS-3 – Anacostia) whose crew began a systematic search for other occupants. While the first arriving engine crew made an aggressive attack on the fire, another engine crew protected a nearby exposure building. Within minutes a partial collapse of the roof occurred forcing heat and debris on top of the search crew. Another crew from Truck 13 (T-13 – Trinidad) recognized this and called for assistance. Firefighters activated an emergency call followed by a 'Mayday'.

Two of these firefighters self-rescued and the 3rd was assisted by the 'rapid intervention team' (RIT). A 4th firefighter was injured during the rescue and firefight.

Firefighter Charles A. Ryan III, was critically injured in the fire. Ryan is also the chief of the Riverdale VFD in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Emergency medical services personnel treated the injured firefighters. One firefighter was listed as Priority 1, serious and life-threatening, while the other three were considered Priority 2, serious & non life threatening. All have burns of varying degrees. All were transported to the Washington Hospital Center, MedStar Burn Unit.  The most seriously inured firefighter is in critical condition, three others are being admitted to the Burn Unit with varying degrees of burns, while another was treated and released.

The injured firefighters are: Firefighter Warren Deavers, RS-3, Lieutenant  Robert Alverado, T-13, Firefighter Ramon Hounshell, RS-3, Firefighter Charles Ryan, RS-3 and Firefighter Theodore Douglas (E-10, T-4)

The building was evacuated and defensive fire attack was initiated. Once all firefighters were accounted for an offensive fire attack was implemented and the fire was 'knocked down' within 10-15 minutes.

Neighbors indicated the house is vacant, but was sometimes occupied for one reason or another. The cause of the fire is under investigation.  Fire Investigators believe the area of origin was to the rear interior of the house. The house suffered significant damage and is a total loss, estimated to be approximately $150,000.

DC Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe was on the scene and reported to the hospital along with many DC firefighters and family members. The DC Firefighters Burn Foundation is assisting and supporting the injured firefighters. Please keep the injured firefighters and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Message from Riverdale VFD:

Early this morning, at approximately 1:00 am, Chief Charles A. Ryan, III was on the job at Rescue 3 in the District of Columbia (DCFD) at a house fire in the 800 block of 48th Street, NE.  While performing as a member of the search team comprised of firefighters from Rescue 3 and Truck 13, Chief Ryan and 4 other members of the DCFD were injured when the roof of the single family home collapsed.

Chief Ryan is in critical condition with significant burns at the Washington Hosiptal Burn Center. Three other firefighters with varying degrees of burns were alos admited to the Burn Center. The Washington Hospital Burn Center currently seeking people to donate blood to assist with the injured firefighters.  Anyone wishing to participate is encouraged to stop by the Blood Services Center at the Washington Hospital Center.  Any help is greatly appreciated and we ask everyone to continue to keep Chief Ryan and the other injured members of the DCFD in your thoughts and prayers.

Chief Ryan has been a member of Riverdale for 25 years and has served as Volunteer Chief for several terms.  HIs father is also a Life Member of Riverdale and a past Chief.  His stepson, Anthony Anastasi, is also a member and currently serves as Tower Captain.

At this time the Burn Center is limiting visitation to family members only. 

As further pertinent information becomes available it will be posted here.  Please do not contact the station seeking information.

On behalf of the Riverdale Fire Department, thank you for all of the phone calls and email of support and assistance.  It is much appreciated.  Please keep all these firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.

Press release from PGFD:

Volunteer Fire Chief Charles "Chucky" Ryan of the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department was critically injured while battling a house fire while working as a firefighter with the District of Columbia Fire Department (DCFD) on Friday, April 8, 2011 (DCFD Press Release is below).  As of this morning he remains listed in "critical" condition.

Ryan has been in the constant company of family, friends and fellow firefighters from the DCFD, PGFD and volunteer members of his Riverdale Station.  He is under the very best of care with the staff of the Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center.  He remains listed in critical condition as he begins to recover from burns over 40% of his body.

Being a veteran firefighter, Ryan demonstrated the difference between life and death; he was described as being very deliberate in maintaining his face piece in place.  A firefighters face piece provides fresh breathing air and thermal protection to their face and airway.  By doing so Ryan prevented the superheated gases and toxic air from entering his airway which would have complicated and more then likely prevented a recovery of his injuries. 

Medical reports and diagnosis have been favorable for Ryan's recovery.  Hospital staff stated the burn injuries sustained by Chuck Ryan are "survivable," however, his path to recovery will be long and painful and at this point his stay in the Burn Unit will be measured by "weeks."

Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor has been in contact with DCFD Fire Chief Ellerbe and with the volunteer leadership at the Riverdale Station.  Bashoor has extended whatever resources are needed to assist each Department through this period.  Chief Bashoor has urged everyone to keep Volunteer Chief Ryan and the other injured firefighters in their thoughts and prayers through this very challenging time.  With so many members of the fire service family wanting to contribute in some way, it has been recommended that a blood donation be considered.   Potential donors are encouraged to contact the Blood Services Center located in the lobby of the Washington Hospital Center.

Related Articles

Back to top button