SEAT PLEASANT, Md. - A total of six separate fires ripped through homes and apartment buildings on Monday in Prince George's County. Officials say at least two were cold-weather related.
Fortunately, there were no injuries reported in each of these fires, but it is an early reminder to be extremely watchful as the temperatures continue to dip.
In just seconds, neighbors say a Seat Pleasant home in the 6700 block of Seat Pleasant was engulfed in flames.
"It happened so quick,” said Luther Gordon. “As I drove right by, the flames were coming out. By the time I get to the bus stop, the firemen were here putting the flame out.”
This was the first morning temperatures hit the freezing mark since the spring.
The cause of this fire? A space heater.
"That space heater was plugged into an extension cord and there were combustibles too close to the space heater,” said Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Chief Marc Bashoor.
The fire gutted at least half of the home. Although no one was home at the time of the fire, two dogs did die and a cat is still missing.
“It started at about 7:45 [a.m.] this morning,” said Bashoor. “Since that point, we've had six fires and that is very unusual.”
Several of the fires were extremely violent, and at this point, crews say at least two were related to heating in the home. One of those fires including a house in Fort Washington where it tore through the chimney, which crews believe was either overloaded or a malfunction of the flue pipe.
"Don’t crank that heater up higher and don't stoke that fireplace more,” said Chief Bashoor. “Put on another layer. That's going to keep you safe."