1 woman dead in Beltsville house fire

WASHINGTON — One woman is dead after a fire broke out in a home in Prince George’s County early Saturday morning.

Fire crews in Prince George’s County responded to a working house fire in the 11400 block of Howard Court in Beltsville, Maryland, around 3:30 a.m.

“Firefighters arrived to find a heavy fire consuming the majority of this two-story, single-family home,” said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

The intensity of the fire prevented firefighters from entering the house right away.

“Once we went inside, we found certain areas inaccessible, it was just too dangerous to send firefighters into,” Brady said. “We had to fight the fire from the exterior of the house before going inside conducting searches.”

There were concerns that children might have been inside the house however when firefighters were able to enter they found only one woman inside who was declared dead on the scene.

“Apparently, the female was the only person found inside the home,” Brady said. “There was concern initially about additional people, but that turned out not to be the case.”

Brady later said on Twitter that investigators were able to confirm that the children of the deceased woman were staying with other family members.

“Right now we have a joint investigation between Prince George’s County fire investigators as well as the police department, which is standard procedure,” Brady said.

Investigators are still trying to figure how and where the fire started.

The home was originally a farmhouse for the area, which could date back as far as the 1920s. The age of the home could have played a role in the fire.

“That particular construction lends itself to a fire extending more rapidly and burning more intensely,” Brady said.

There is no word yet on the identity of the woman.

She is the ninth fire fatality in Prince George’s County in 2018. There were only five fire fatalities in the county in all of 2017.

A map of the area can be seen below.

This is a developing story. WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

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