All Residents Found After Landover Hills Apartment Fire; 3 Firefighters Hurt

A family of four is safe after a fast-moving blaze ripped through a Maryland apartment complex Tuesday morning.

Firefighters were called about 3:30 a.m. to the Verona at Landover Hills community in the 3900 block of Warner Avenue.

The two-alarm fire moved quickly, giving some residents just moments to escape the three-story garden-style apartments.

A Prince George's County spokesman said about 5:30 a.m. that 22 residents were accounted for, but crews were still working to find a family believed to live in an upper-floor unit. Officials said shortly before 7 a.m. that they now believe everyone has been accounted for.

Three firefighters were taken to a hospital with burn injuries, and another person is being treated for smoke inhalation, officials said.

One resident said he and his family were asleep when their smoke detector sounded.

"Luckily, my wife, she went to the living room and she saw smoke everywhere, and she screamed, 'Fire, fire, fire! Grab the baby!'" Didier Tekum said. "And I grabbed the baby and I opened the door of the living room and the entire stairway was in flames, and there was no way for us to go out toward the stairways."

Neighbors were able to help them escape, he said.

Another resident said he heard a series of popping sounds before seeing the fire.

"We heard a loud pop, we heard a loud boom, and then once that happened, everybody got out. We came on the balcony and we looked at it, and I was like, 'Wow,'" said Lamont Pettaway.

Part of the building's exterior walls collapsed after the fire tore through the structure.

The fire was declared extinguished about 4:30 a.m., but firefighters were continuing to put out hot spots.

The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.

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