Pepco trainee saves Md. toddler and home from fire

The Pepco crew that likely saved a home in Upper Marlboro, Md., after they saved the day. (Courtesy Pepco)

Darci Marchese,

WASHINGTON – A Pepco crew is being credited with putting out a fire in a home where a toddler was inside alone.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like this,” says 19-year-old Ryan Callahan, who is training to be a line mechanic at Pepco.

Callahan and his crew arrived at the home on Ritchie-Marlboro Road in Upper Marlboro for routine work around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

That’s when someone on his team noticed smoke coming off the home and heard smoke detectors going off.

Without thinking, Callahan says he and another crewman ran into the home that is under renovation and put out the fire with an extinguisher. They shouted to see if anyone was inside the home, Callahan says, but no one spoke out. A third crewman called 911.

After running back out, Callahan says the fire kept starting back up. He says each time, he put his hood on his head and ran back inside with the extinguisher.

“The smoke was very thick, the lights were out,” he says.

He also shut off the propane to the home.

That’s when the resident of the home ran up, saying her 3-year-old son was upstairs. She was taking her other children to the bus stop, which is located at the bottom of her long drive-way.

Callahan says he ran upstairs with her.

“I couldn’t even see where I was going. That’s how thick the smoke was,” he says.

The boy was okay. Luckily, he was in a room without any smoke.

Callahan says he’s glad he was at the right place at the right time, “It feels pretty good, I’m not going to lie. I’m actually kind of excited to talk to my dad about it and my mom.”

The cause of the fire appears accidental, Prince George’s County Fire spokesman Mark Brady says. It looks like the fire started in a trash can and extended into the cabinets and propane stove area, Brady says.

Brady says it was smart of Callahan to turn the propane off and says if Pepco crews didn’t react so quickly, the damage would have been much worse. Of course with a toddler inside, the fire department is grateful for their actions.

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