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Greenbelt Apartment Building Fire Displaces Dozens, Prince George's County Firefighters Rescue Residents

6:25 AM, Dec 27, 2012   |    comments
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GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA) -- Dozens of residents are displaced after a fire ripped through an apartment complex on Wednesday in Greenbelt.

At about 4:30 p.m., firefighters got the call to 9133 Edmonston Terrace in Greenbelt. When they got there, flames were shooting through the roof of the two-story apartment building.

In the end, 24 apartments full of people in the Franklin Park Apartment Complex were evacuated, and won't be sleeping at home tonight. But, firefighters said again and again, this could have been worse.

At one point, a resident was trapped.

" [A man] couldn't get through the stairwell, too much smoke, too much heat. Firefighters threw a ground ladder, pulled him down, he was fine," Mark Brady, the Prince George's County Fire Department Spokesperson said.

A firefighter who got separated from others was also in danger during the fire. 

"Intense heat, thick smoke, he did the right thing by sounding the mayday, indicating that he was in trouble, he was almost immediately located by other firefighters and brought out to safety," Brady said. 

We talked to Kim Boone who was one of the many people evacuated from her apartment. She says she ran out with just the clothes she had on and threw on some slippers quickly.

"Thank God for my two sisters and my sister in law, they brought me some clothes," Boone said.

She says she's grateful for what she has, not what she may have lost. 

"Even though we might have lost everything, at Christmas, it's all good. We might have lost everything, but God's got my back, we had insurance, so it's ok."

And like so many things in life, timing seemed to mean everything, as Brady explains, "if we had this particular incident say in the middle of the morning, certainly the potential for higher injury is there."

Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire. 

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