February 26, 2004 1514hrs:
Units from Waldorf were alerted for a possible single-family house fire on Elizabeth Drive. As units were approaching the scene, a large column of black smoke could be seen in the sky. Chief 3A and Engine 33 arrived on the scene to find a 2-story residence with heavy fire conditions visible from the front door and several windows on sides 2 and 3. Engine 33's crew made an aggressive interior attack with a 1¾" preconnect line. Firefighters were hampered by a propane tank in the rear of the residence that was providing additional fuel to the fire. The crew knocked the bulk of the fire down on the 1st floor and was advancing to the 2nd floor when the water supply ran out. This residence was located in a non-hydrant area and firefighters were forced to evacuate the structure until the water supply could be established. Several additional tankers were special requested to the scene to assist with a water shuttle operation. Once the water supply operation was in place, firefighters initiated an exterior attack on the fire utilizing a 2-1/2" attack line and 2-1¾" preconnect lines. After the bulk of the fire was extinguished, crews re-entered the structure and extinguished the remaining amounts of fire. The residence was a total loss and was estimated at approximately $350,000. No firefighters were injured battling the blaze, however one welder who was working at the residence was treated for smoke inhalation and signed a release on scene. The Maryland State Fire Marshals Office investigated the fire and determined a light bulb exploded in a crawlspace causing the blaze.
Waldorf Responding Units: Engine 33, Truck 3, Tanker 12 (Special Request), Ambulance 37, Safety 3, and Chief 3A.
Mutual Aid Units: Hughesville Engine 23 and Tanker 2, Baden Engine 362 and Tanker 36, La Plata Truck 1, and Brandywine Squad 40.
Special Request for Water Supply: Mechanicsville Engine 24, Benedict Engine 53, La Plata Tanker 1, and Bel Alton Tanker 10.
Photos courtesy of Denni Wood ("Mrs. Slick")