Residents at an assisted living facility are looking for a new place to live after fire damaged their building Monday. However, fire officials said the damage could have been much worse if the sprinkler system didn’t save the day, putting out the flames before firefighters arrived.
The owner of the facility, Abundant Love Home located on Snowden Pond Road in Laurel, Maryland, said she was in the kitchen cooking when the frying pan caught fire. Four patients and the four staff members were inside just before 12:30 p.m.
Nearly 30 firefighters rushed to the scene and helped the patients to get out. Fire officials said crews tore through some of the walls in the kitchen to make sure the fire didn't reignite.
“The fire grew in intensity enough to where the sprinkler system activated,” said Mark Brady, chief spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department. “We had to cut off the facilities to the home so any medical facilities will not operate.”
Brady said three of the four patients were safely evacuated without injury. The fourth patient, who was on a ventilator, was carried out by firefighters.
Brady said because of the working sprinkler system and smoke alarms, there was minimal damage to the facility.
The license for the assisted living residence had just expired last month. An order by fire inspectors will require the owners to get a new permit and correct other violations to bring the home up to code.
The owners said residents and staff will be moved into a hotel until repairs can be made and code violations corrected. Investigators said even after repairs are done inside the kitchen, it could be several more weeks until the business can legally operate.
“We take care of elderly people for the past 11, past 10 years,” said Flabrat Tchate, co-owner of Abundant Love Home.