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There was an unusual series of radio transmissions (above) over about four-minutes during a house fire in Charles County, Maryland on Friday. There apparently was such resistance to an order to evacuate the burning home that the incident commander threatened to have the sheriff remove firefighters from the fireground who refused to follow orders. Adding to the tension, the fire was at the home of a couple who are firefighters in Charles County.
As you will hear in the condensed audio clip (above) from Broadcastify, the incident commander at the Christina Place fire ordered the home to be evacuated. An unidentified firefighter is heard saying, “Give me a line. We can put the thing out.” This was followed by the Basement Division asking for a second line on Side Charlie.
Command tells everyone that once we have everyone out and do a PAR check they will re-evaluate and re-attack. At the request of someone else on the fireground, the evacuation tones were sounded a second time. This occurred about two-minutes after the initial evacuation order. While the PAR check was conducted, there was another transmission saying, “Got to put water on it to put it out.”
Command then says, “Command to all units on the fireground, if you cannot follow command’s orders, remove yourself from the fireground.” Someone then says to Division 1, “We need that line charged to put this fire out.” Command replies, “We are in a rural water supply setting. Half the tankers in the county didn’t get out. When we get water, you will get it. Until then, stay out of the house. If you do not, the sheriff will have you removed from the fireground.”
In addition to firefighters from Charles County, companies from Prince George’s County, St. Mary’s County and Calvert County were dispatched to the call.
The home belongs to the McMahon family. Danny and Caryn McMahon are long-time volunteer firefighters in Charles County. According to a GoFundMe fundraiser for the family, Danny is also a firefighter at the National Institutes of Health and Caryn is a Maryland State Fire Marshal. The couple and their children were not home at the time of the fire. So far, almost $50,000 has been raised to help the McMahons. Donation information can be found here.