Report outlines mistakes made during 2012 Riverdale house fire t - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Report outlines mistakes made during 2012 Riverdale house fire that injured 7 firefighters

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RIVERDALE, Md. -

In February 2012, seven Prince George's County firefighters were hurt in a house fire along 57th Avenue in Riverdale, Md. Two of them were left clinging to life.

The department's safety investigation outlines mistakes made at the scene. According to the report, firefighters entered the home without properly assessing the structure or the windy conditions, and they were met with a fireball.

Fire Chief Marc Bashoor says the fire was burning in the basement. An open window at that level was the only source of air flow. On a night with strong wind gusts, opening the front door turned nearly deadly.

"Energy from the fire flow slammed the front door shut and came down on top of those two firefighters putting them in basically an oven," said Bashoor.

Of the two most seriously injured firefighters, Ethan Sorrell has since returned to the job. He attended the briefing with Kevin O'Toole, who still recovering.

The report contains 46 recommendations, color coded for urgency.

Also among the findings, several firefighters were wearing outdated or unofficial gloves and gear. Investigators say it may have had an impact on the severity of their injuries.

Investigators later determined the fire was arson. Officials announced an increase in the reward. They are now offering $15,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.


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