A man was rescued from his third-story balcony at a Greenbelt apartment Wednesday afternoon when the building caught fire, a blaze that caused damage to 30 apartments and displaced dozens of residents.
The rescue involved firefighters using a ground ladder to reach the man’s third-floor apartment balcony in the rear of the building, where he retreated for shelter when the fire broke out, said Mark Brady, chief spokesman for Prince George’s fire/EMS department. Brady also said the man was not injured.
Around 4:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the fire at 9133 Edmonston Terrace, at Franklin Park Apartments, where they found flames coming from the top two floors.
About 50 firefighters and medics responded to the scene to help put out the blaze, which required about 30 minutes to extinguish, Brady said.
While battling the fire inside, one firefighter declared a “mayday” when he became separated from other firefighters. He was located and brought out of the fire uninjured, Brady said.
“Mayday is a distress call indicating that you need immediate assistance,” Brady said.
He said as the fire grew and extended to the roof, all personnel were evacuated and the fire was primarily extinguished from outside.
No injuries were reported, though all 30 of the apartment units in the building were deemed uninhabitable. Twenty-one of those apartments are occupied and residents living in those units have been displaced.
Brady said Thursday morning that some residents will be able to re-enter their apartments while others will be displaced long-term. He did not have an exact number of residents displaced Thursday morning.
The cause of the fire has been attributed to a malfunctioning furnace and is listed as accidental. Estimated damages total $250,000, he said.