Prince George’s County firefighters battled what they called an "intense" fire at a Capitol Heights house Tuesday morning that threatened to ignite neighbor’s homes on both sides.
Fire crews arrived at about 4 a.m. at the two-story house at 722 Mentor Avenue to find heavy fire conditions on both floors. Four people escaped the house safely prior to the Fire/EMS Department arrival. A dog, however, died in the blaze.
Due to the extreme conditions, firefighters said they were unable to make an interior attack on the fire and remained outside in a defensive position. One of the primary concerns for firefighters was to protect the homes on both sides, as radiant heat threatened to damage and ignite those, as well.
Additional firefighters were eventually called to the scene and it took more than an hour to knock down the bulk of the flames. The house was a total loss, but firefighters were successful in protecting the neighbors' homes.
Investigators do not know if one person -- who occasionally lives in the house with the other four -- was in the house when the fire occurred. Attempts to locate him have been unsuccessful. Until contact is made and he is determined safe, he will be considered unaccounted for, officials said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.