LAUREL, Md. - Four Prince George’s County firefighters were injured Thursday battling an apartment fire in Laurel.
The blaze started at around 11:15 a.m. at an apartment building in the 11000 block of South Laurel Drive.
One firefighter had serious burns, two others suffered minor burns and a fourth firefighter had an ankle injury.
“Firefighters putting on all that gear, they are already sweating, they put on that gear and then they go into the heat of that fire, one possibility is that heat transferred through their gear and started to burn their skin,” said Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady.
Three of the firefighters were taken to the burn unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. The worst of the injuries include serious burns to one of the firefighter’s hands. We are told none of the injuries are life-threatening.
One woman who was in the shower of her apartment when the fire started said she is lucky she got out safely.
“I was in the bathroom, I was taking my shower and I saw smoke everywhere,” said Gladys Nkoma. “So I came out, and as I came out, I came to the window, I started shouting ‘fire, fire’ because there was smoke everywhere."
She said it is fortunate she noticed the smoke because she didn’t hear any alarms go off when the fire started in her third-story apartment.
“I actually came out naked because I was washing up and I didn't have anything on me,” she said. “It was one of the guys who got my towel and gave it to me and one of the ladies gave me this to wear.”
Though the fire was contained to a single apartment in this complex, the entire building was evacuated.
The Red Cross was on hand to offer services to the estimated 30 people that were displaced.