Long recovery ahead for firefighter injured in Riverdale arson

Kevin O\'Toole, 22, is still in the intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center nearly three weeks after being burned at a house fire in Riverdale. (Courtesy of Prince George\'s County Fire)

Thomas Warren, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Prince George’s County firefighter Kevin O’Toole remains in the Intensive Care Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he continues to recover from severe burns he suffered nearly three weeks ago while battling a blaze at a home in Riverdale.

More than 50 percent of O’Toole’s body suffered second- and third-degree burns in the fire that also injured six other firefighters.

“The most serious injury it appears at this point is his left hand,” says Mark Brady, spokesman for Prince George’s County Fire Department.

O’Toole, 22, has undergone four skin grafts since the fire, and he had surgery on his left hand on Wednesday.

His condition has improved, and, with the help of medical staff, he’s taken slow strolls around the burn unit.

“His recovery period in the hospital, still we’re looking at weeks as opposed to days,” Brady says.

O’Toole is a volunteer firefighter with the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Station 9.

The fire — described as a “fireball” — started in the basement of a home on the 6400 block of 57th Avenue on Friday, Feb. 24. Authorities later determined the fire was an arson.

The search for suspects is ongoing, and the department has put up a $1,000 reward for assistance that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information should call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Tips may be sent securely and anonymously, via text message by typing “PGPD” plus the message and sending it from your cell phone to “CRIMES” (274637).

The Prince George’s County Arson Tip Line will accept information at 301-77-ARSON, or by email at 77ARSON@co.pg.md.us.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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