MARYLAND

PGFD: 7 firefighters injured in Riverdale residential fire

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Seven Prince George's County Firefighters were injured as they battled a house fire in Riverdale Friday night.

PG County Executive Rushern Baker and Fire Chief Marc Bashoor at Medstar with Michael McClary, 19, a Riverdale Volunteer firefighter.

At 9:11 p.m. firefighters responded to a house fire in the 6400 block of 57th Avenue, according to a news release from Prince George's County Firefighters.

Personnel arrived to find a one-story, single-family home with basement on fire on both levels.

Firefighters had initiated an interior attack on the fire when a sudden rush of air fanned by high winds entered from the rear of the house, either from a door or window being opened or broken out, the news release said.

The sudden addition of a large amount of fresh air into the fire created a "fire ball' inside engulfing the firefighters, the release said.

Firefighters tried to escape and commanders immediately called for an EMS Task Force and Fire Task Force.

The injured firefighters suffered burns, fractures and lacerations and were transported to the Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center.

Another team of firefighters re-entered the house and the fire was extinguished in about 25 minutes.

Seven firefighters were transported.

Three were from Riverdale and one was from College Park; they will be released and sent home Saturday.

Ethan Sorrell, 21, a Bladensburg Volunteer firefighter from Durham, North Carolina is listed in critical condition and suffers burns to his upper body and his airway.

Kevin O'Toole, 22, a Bladensburg Volunteer firefighter from Long Island, New York is listed in critical condition with second and third degree burns to 40 percent of his body.

Michael McClary, 19, a Riverdale Volunteer firefighter is hospitalized with bruised ribs. He may be released Saturday.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and fire loss estimates are not yet available. It was a vacant structure, although firefighters believed the house may have been occupied as a car was parked in the driveway, the news release said.

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