Landover apartment complex fire displaces dozens

An early morning apartment complex fire wreaked havoc in Landover, Maryland, on Thursday, displacing at least 45 adults, 30 kids and four dogs.

Prince George’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jennifer Donelan told WTOP’s John Domen that firefighters responded to the blaze at 2404 Brightseat Road around 2:45 a.m.

Donelan described the complex as two-story garden style apartments.

“We get to the first apartment building and it’s literally got fire coming through the roof,” she said. “We had two residents who were injured prior to our arrival, at least one of them we believe was injured, jumping from a balcony.”

“That fire moved really fast.”

Donelan said the roof started to collapse as firefighters were searching for people in the first apartment.

“So we had to sound evacuation tones, we had to evacuate all the firefighters out of that building,” she said.

The fire then jumped to a second building, according to Donelan, and that one had to be evacuated too. No firefighters were injured and she said nobody has been found inside either of the buildings.

Firefighters in Prince George’s County battled a blaze in the early morning Thursday that displaced dozens of families. (WTOP/John Domen)

Donelan said that “right now the focus is on the families, we’ve got everything from babies, to elderly grandparents and pets who’ve all been displaced. And we want to make sure that they’re getting the assistance that they need.”

“We saw a lot of young kids who looked pretty scared, parents hugging them, we know that this is a terrifying way to wake up.”

The Red Cross and the Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management are assisting the displaced families, who will be helped with lodging.

“Because, while they are also grateful to be alive and to manage their way out of what was a really bad fire, now they have to deal with the aftermath, the loss of their belongings, and how to pick up the pieces,” Donelan said.

“So we are really fortunate that while these people have lost their homes, that we didn’t lose any lives.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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