Fire Crews Are Still on the Scene as College Park Blaze Smolders

WASHINGTON — The five-alarm fire that ripped through a nearly completed apartment building under construction in College Park is still demanding firefighters’ attention: Fire crews are expected to stay at the scene until at least Thursday afternoon.

“That fire burned very intensely for a long period of time, and it’s deep-seated into that rubble,” said Mark Brady, chief spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. “There are four specific spots that continue to flare up from time to time.”

A fire engine and ladder truck teams will remain at the site, he said, and will direct high-pressure water hoses on hot spots that continue to flare up on the structure’s rooftop.

Damage is extensive to the seven-story building located on Berwyn House Road.

“There’s enough damage that it’s quite possible the first four or five floors will have to be demolished,” Brady said.

The sprinkler system was installed but not yet connected in the Fuse 47 building. Fire doors designed to block a fire from spreading had not yet been put in place.

Monday’s fire drew more than 200 firefighters, producing the biggest response in the history of Prince George’s County. The cause remains under investigation, but because of the instability of the building’s rooftop, firefighters are unable to get inside to examine the area that is believed to be where the fire began.

“We are leaning toward an accidental cause of the fire, but we would like to get in and complete our investigation before giving an official [explanation] as to what happened,” Brady said.

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