Firefighter Critically Injured Battling Apparent Arson Fire

Family familiar with property damage

KETTERING, Md. -- A firefighter pulled from a raging house fire early Wednesday morning was taken to a hospital burn unit with critical burns.

The fire was reported about 2 a.m. Wednesday in the carport of a home on Herrington Drive in Kettering, a Prince George's County official said. The fire spread to the attached home.

Daniel McGown, 21, was the first firefighter inside.

"We'll risk a lot to save a lot," department spokesman Mark Brady said. "When we arrived on the scene, he was on board the first arriving engine, saw the fire, and we went into the interior of the house to knock that fire down and save the structure. It was during that point in the extinguishment something occurred, we're not exactly sure yet."

After 30 seconds of no movement from McGown, an automatic alarm alerted other firefighters that McGown might be in trouble. They rushed in to pull him out.

A woman and her two sons escaped uninjured before firefighters arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to be arson, authorities said.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the fire is related to ongoing issues with this family, sources said. They've had property damage before, and last night, another car -- parked in the driveway -- had two tires slashed, sources said. It wasn't the first time tires had been slashed.

Investigators want to interview a person of interest in the case.

The injured firefighter is in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center, Brady said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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