The Prince George’s County Fire Department is conducting an internal review of emergency response staffing in an area where a woman died in a house fire last weekend.
Authorities said Anita Ellis, 57, died in Saturday night’s fire in New Carrollton and a 38-year-old man was critically injured. Both individuals were trapped in the basement, according to several news outlets which cited fire officials.
The first arriving units to the home were delayed because three other volunteer firehouses were unstaffed and unavailable, according to the union covering Prince George’s County firefighters.
“There is a huge service gap, and these types of incidents occur regularly,” union president Andrew Pantelis said. “It’s only [Saturday] night where an ultimate tragedy occurred.”
The Prince George’s County Fire Department announced Sunday it had opened the staffing review.
The department is looking “at the challenge with the volunteer corporations that are struggling to maintain membership,” Deputy Chief Brian Frankel said.
Family and friends held a Monday night vigil to remember Ellis, who was a county school bus driver.