Man killed in Prince George’s Co. house fire identified

Members of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department prepare to knock on doors to check smoke alarms in homes at a District Heights neighborhood. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
A Prince George’s County firefighter prepares to check the smoke alarms at a District Heights house. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The condition of a home in District Heights in Prince George’s County, Maryland, following a fire one day earlier. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
A home at District Heights after a fire, where a man died, was extinguished. (Courtesy Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department)

Fire officials in Prince George’s County, Maryland, are still investigating a fire in District Heights that killed a man on Sunday night.

Firefighters responded around 10 p.m. for a fire in a two-story home within the 1900 block of Brewton Street near Wintergreen Avenue.

Flames popped out of the two-story building as crews arrived. Firefighters searched the home, found a man trapped inside and removed him from the home. 

The man, Winifred​ Edward Williams, 67, died at the scene after multiple lifesaving efforts, the Prince George’s County Fire Department said in a news release. The fire was extinguished, and no one else was found in the home.

Two firefighters were taken to a hospital with minor injuries and later discharged. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but fire officials said the estimated damage stands at $75,000. 

Williams becomes the fourth person in a week to be killed in a fire in Prince George’s County after three girls died in a Hillcrest Heights fire last Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours after battling the blaze, firefighters returned to Brewton Street Monday afternoon to check other homes for working smoke alarms. Members of five companies fanned out into the neighborhood, knocking on doors to inspect, replace or install smoke detectors. 

“Smoke alarms save lives…what’s important for us is that we’re out, ensuring that the community has working smoking alarms,” said Assistant Fire Chief James McClelland.

While firefighters said they could hear smoke alarms during Sunday’s fire, the investigation into the incident that killed the three girls has not concluded whether the home had working smoke alarms, leading to the courtesy visits. Since 2018, Maryland law requires 10 year-life lithium battery smoke detectors in all homes.

“Inspect yours on a regular basis; if they need to be replaced, replace them,” McClelland said.  

Like other fire departments throughout the region, Prince George’s County provides residents with free smoke alarms, which firefighters can install appropriately.

Below is a map of where the fire took place:

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera is an associate producer for WTOP News. He joined the radio news team in 2021 after previously working for WMAL News as a news assistant. He is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

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