Fire at assisted-living home causes evacuation
Sprinkler system helped contain fire, limit damage, officials say
An assisted living facili- ty in Waldorf caught fire Tuesday night, causing many occupants to evac- uate, while others were safely sheltered in place.
The fire at the Morning- side House of St. Charles was contained to the sec- ond floor by a residential sprinkler system, as well as efforts from area firefighters, according to fire officials.
Around 11:47 p.m. on Tuesday, the fire activated a smoke detector and the sprinkler system, allowing occupants of 40 apartments on the second and third floors to be safely evacuated, while residents on the first and forth floors were sheltered in place, a news release states. Close to 50 firefighters from Charles and Prince George’s counties responded to the scene to assist the Waldorf Volunteer Fire
Department. No injuries were reported.
Fire marshals have ruled the fire as accidental, caused by a malfunc- tioning wall-mounted heating and air conditioning unit in a second-floor apartment, according to the release. Smoke and fire damage to the apart- ment, as well as water damage throughout the second floor, amounted to an estimated $40,000 in total damages. Residents living on the second floor have been relocated tem- porarily within the facility during clean up.
The facility’s management staff has not responded to several requests for comment by the Maryland Independent.
“Residential fire sprinklers are effectively proven to save lives and reduce the costs associated when an uncontrolled fire develops,” fire marshals noted in the news release. “Fires occurring in unprotected structures of this type often are the result of significant injuries or worse to occupants along with a high dollar value loss and extended lengths of time for restoration of the building.”
Fire marshals have ruled the fire as accidental, caused by a malfunctioning wall mounted heating and air conditioning unit in a second-floor apartment.