20 Calls in 24 Hours – A Storm and Two Working Fires

May 19, 2015.  From 0200hrs on May 18th through 0200hrs May 19th, between the engine, truck and ambulance, LVFD responded to 20 calls for service with the busiest time being when storms hit the Laurel Area. At least two buildings were struck by lightning leading to working fires. 

Just before 2230hrs on May 18th, Engine 104 was dispatched for an automatic fire alarm at the Quality Inn on Rt. 1 near the Howard/Prince George Co. line.  This call came out during the height of the storm with torrential rain and numerous close lightning strikes.  On the scene, the crew found an activated sprinkler head in one of the rooms on the third floor and quickly determined the activation was not due to fire but rather one of the occupants knocking the head off.  While securing the sprinkler system, a Street Alarm was dispatched for smoke in the building at 14006 Korba Place.  Truck 31 (Beltsville) who was cancelled from the sprinkler call at the Quality Inn was first arriving and reported fire coming from the roof.  E104’s crew quickly cleared the sprinkler call and responded on Korba Place.  Due to the delay, E104 arrived and assumed “3rd due”, taking the 400 foot line to the rear.  Once there, the crew operated in 14004 on the third floor opening up and knocking down fire in the attic and walls.

E104’s crew was back in quarters for about an hour when the first due tones hit for a reported house fire at 7214 Paperbark Terrace.   Paperbark Terrace is in a 55+ community off of Contee Road.  Arriving on the scene, the crew found smoke showing from the first and second floors as well as the eaves of a two story large end of the group townhouse.  Residents reported a kitchen fire.  Once inside, the crew encountered heavy smoke and a sprinkler activation.  On further investigation, an electrical outlet and the cabinets were charred.  Crews pulled the cabinets and opened up the walls and found fire running the void space behind the kitchen wall to the roof.  Once opened up, E104 crew extinguished the fire.   Cooking was not the cause of the fire.  Residents reporting hearing a loud crash of thunder just before they smelled smoke.  Photos are of the Korba Place Fire.