Fire at as­sisted-liv­ing home causes evac­u­a­tion

Sprin­kler sys­tem helped con­tain fire, limit dam­age, of­fi­cials say

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com

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.”

COUR­TESY OF OF­FICE OF STATE FIRE MAR­SHALS

Fire mar­shals have ruled the fire as ac­ci­den­tal, caused by a mal­func­tion­ing wall mounted heat­ing and air con­di­tion­ing unit in a sec­ond-floor apart­ment.

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