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College Park Fire Causes $40M Loss: Here is What We Know

Yesterday’s fire in College Park on Berwyn House Road at the Fuse complex has caused quite a bit of discussion in the community. Here is what we know and a list of questions / concerns we have. I’ll update the list as I know more:

  • The fire caused nearly $40M in damage, probably the largest in PG Fire Department’s history. This incident has been the largest suppression effort and the highest fire loss estimate in the history of the Fire/EMS Department, according to the PGFD.
  • The Fuse 47 building was slated to have about to 250 apartments, retail stores and a parking garage and was scheduled for occupancy in July 2017.
  • Fire fighters were alerted at about 9:35 am, Monday, April 24.
  • The fire started on the 6th floor of the 7 story building
  • 5 Alarms were sounded with over 200 firefighters and medics working to extinguish the fire that consumed the roof of the city block long building until mid afternoon when the fire was considered contained and under control.
  • The fire forced the relocation of 68 residents of the senior city building across the street to relocate.  Residents of the Gladys Spellman House were relocated to the College Park Community Center to avoid the smoke that filled their building.
  • Fire hoses pumped 650 gallons of water per minute for more than five hours, with the weight of the water potentially causing the building — which is currently only supported by wood — to collapse floor by floor, Brady said at the briefing.The fire took so long to control because only one ladder truck was able to access the back of the building, where the fire was located
  • The cause of the fire still unknown

The fire took so long to control because only one ladder truck was able to access the back of the building, where the fire was located. We’ll look into ways we can improve the situation so that this kind of incidents do not happen again.

That said, I want to thank many brave firefighters for doing an excellent job in bringing the fire under control.

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