2 fire trucks destroyed in 3-alarm fire in Capitol Heights

A massive fire in Capitol Heights destroyed two fire trucks that were responding to the three-alarm blaze.

A giant plume of smoke could be seen for miles around the D.C. area. Even fans at the Nationals game reported seeing smoke all the way from Nationals Park located about ten miles away from the scene.

"It was like a huge big ball of smoke, like a football field upright, but probably bigger," said witness Patrick Horn. "It was huge."

The fire started outside of a roofing business as the fire department said different types of building materials were fueling the flames. But the blaze never reached inside of the building and did not damage the building other than minor smoke damage to the roof.

The wind became a huge problem as it shifted the smoke and flames toward arriving fire crews.

Two fire engines worth more than $1.5 million are now charred remains as a result of the fire.

"We believe there were propane tanks exploding at the point those engines became involved," said Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor. "We could hear it."

One engine belonged to the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department while the other belonged to the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department.

"In the 34 years I've been doing it, we've never lost two fire engines on a building fire," said Bashoor.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the three-alarm fire.

Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady said one firefighter suffered a small burn injury to the leg, but there were no serious injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Foam Unit from Andrewa assisting. Now a 3 alarm incident pic.twitter.com/XKw27zdvDy

Units continuing to flow large water & foam - fire far from under control, now 3rd alarm, MSP Trooper 2 for air view pic.twitter.com/AL3aUNJXUf

8700 block of Ashford in Capitol Heights. 2 ala plus pic.twitter.com/7VKTFColxq

2 pieces of fire apparatus have been lost to this fire. No serious injuries pic.twitter.com/kzcVwjD9OA