Just before 8am, Truck 37 was dispatched as the second due special special service for the reported house on fire in the 2100 block of DuPont Ave. in company 17′s area. First arriving units reported a single family dwelling with fire showing from multiple windows The truck arrived on scene as dispatched, splitting into 2 crews with the exterior crew throwing ladders and securing the utilities while the interior crew conducted searches checked for extension in the basement and the exterior of home. No injuries to civilians or fire fighters were reported and the truck cleared an hour and half later.
The officers and members of the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department would like to invite you to our first annual end of summer cookout. This event is open to all firefighters and their families to attend. We just wanted to use this as an opportunity to enjoy a day with our neighboring companies and their families while getting to know our brothers and sisters that we only see on emergency incidents. We will be hosting this event at our station from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, August 29th. We will have face painting, a moon bounce and cotton candy for the kids and a corn-hole tournament for the with a cash prizes for the top 3 teams. Cornhole teams will be $40 a team with a cutoff of 16 teams. We will be providing food and drinks and encourage companies to bring apparatus. We hope this event becomes an annual staple in our firefighting community and look forward to seeing everyone, even if only for a few minutes.
On Sunday August 16th, the members of the Forestville VFD lost one of their own. Charles “Sonny” Thorne passed away on Sunday leaving his spot on the front ramp bench empty. While there are many people who may not have known Sonny personally, there aren’t many within the Prince Georges County Fire Department who have walked into company 23 looking for assistance or were on a transfer over the years and didn’t encounter the very polite gentleman sitting out front. If Sonny wasn’t on the run that brought the transfer crew in, he would always be there to engage the guys who were sent there to fill in. Sonny Thorne will be remembered as one of the nicest gentleman to ever put on a set of turnout gear and will absolutely be missed.
The officers and members would like to extend our condolences to the Thorne family and the Forestville VFD at this difficult time.
While returning from an AFA in company 46′s area, the engine was alerted to 1000 Ritchie Rd for the reported building fire. For those who follow us, that address may sound familiar. This building is a waste management facility that primarily takes care of recycled material. Over the past year, we have had several incidents at this address for a range of incidents from basic EMS calls to working fires. On this night, the crew from Ritchie would encounter another fire, with this one going two alarms. This building maintains a heavy fire load at all times being a recycling facility with large amounts of cardboard and similar materials. The engine arrived on the scene with heavy smoke showing from the bay doors of the building laid a supply line and deployed an attack line. The crew encountered what would later be identified as a fire that started on a convertor belt, spreading to the bailer and several bails of recycled material. Crews were able to make an aggressive attack on the interior of the building bringing the fire under control a short time after arrival. Due to the amount of materials present and the difficulties encountered with overhaul, a second alarm was brought to the scene and put to work. The crew remained on the scene for several hours conducting overhaul and hitting hot spots. No injuries where reported as a result of this incident.
The officers and members of the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department are sadden to learn of the passing of Donald (Patch) Aker Jr. Patch wasn’t just the President of Kentland VFD, but to many of the members here at Ritchie, he was also a friend and coworker. He was a Co-worker to some of our members who worked along side of him at Prince George’s County Public Safety Communication Center, and a friend to other members from our station while attending training together and during the “after hours” events in Ocean City and locally. As with what has been stated repeatedly in emails and on social media, he was a friend to the fire service in general. He always seemed to be able to keep a level head and always had a positive attitude no matter the situation. He will be missed by all who have had the pleasure of meeting him and we are keeping his family, Kentland VFD Companies 33 and 46, and the PG PSCC employees in our thoughts and prayers as these groups of people deal with this tragic loss. May you now rest in eternal peace and as they always say “We’ve got it from here Brother!”
Here is the official release from Kentland VFD:
It is with the heaviest of hearts and the deepest of sympathies that the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Companies 33 and 46 announce the untimely passing of Corporation President/Firefighter Donald I. (Patch”) Aker, Jr. For the past year and a half, President Aker valiantly battled esophageal cancer. He lost that battle this afternoon while receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins University Hospital – Bayview Medical Center.
“Patch” as he was known throughout the fire service joined the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Company 33, in September of 1998. He received his “Life Member” status in the same month of 2008. During his continuous, uninterrupted service at Company 33, he attained the rank of Lieutenant and served in the prestigious position of Corporation President since 2008. Prior to being a member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., he was a member of the West Lanham Hills VFD, Company 28 and a member of the Prince George’s County Fire Department’s “High School Cadet” program. He was a life long resident of Prince George’s County, Maryland, growing-up in New Carollton, attending Parkdale High School and currently resided in the City of Bowie.
For nearly 20-years, he worked as a dedicated employee with the Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications. Serving in capacities as an Emergency Call Taker, Police Department Dispatcher, Fire Department Dispatcher and Training Director.
As of the writing of this, arrangements are being planned and will be distributed to the public once they are available. The leadership of the department (KVFD) has established an “Incident Command” style of funeral management and will be coordinating all events, information exchange, etc.
We ask that everyone keep the family, friends, co-wokers and fellow firemen of President Aker in your thoughts and prayers. This is a deep loss for not only the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., but the fire service as a whole.
Kentland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
Companies 33 and 46
With an unusually busy Sunday already in the books, company 37 took in a working house fire in District Heights to end out the day. Just before 20:00 hrs, the tones were dropped for the reported house on fire on Walters Place in company 26′s area, bringing Truck 37 with 6 volunteers as the second due special service. Upon arrival, company 26 reported a two story single family dwelling with heavy fire from the second floor of the home. Truck 37 arrived as dispatched and split into an outside and inside crew with the exterior crew throwing ladders and clearing out windows, while the interior crew conducted searches and checked for extension. All searches proved to be negative with bulk of the fire being contained to the room of origin.
Fire photo courtesy of @PGFDPHOTOSE
After clearing a reported building fire in company 8′s area that proved negative, the truck was placed on yet another box alarm in the Clinton area. Communications alerted Truck 837 to the reported house on fire in Company 25′s area as the first due special service. Responding units were notified of multiple calls coming in from neighbors reporting smoke from the house, and fire from the roof. The first unit on scene gave a size up of a two story, single family home, with fire showing from the roof. Truck 37 was advised to head to the main fire floor upon arrival, where we were instructed to help the first arriving engine companies. The truck arrived as dispatched, and assumed our given responsibilities. The origin of the fire was determined to be in the kitchen, which then spread into the attic and through the roof. There was a heat related injury to a firefighter, and a family dog perished. The truck operated for 2 1/2 hours before returning to service.
Photos courtesy of @PGFDPHOTOSE
Just after 1400 hours, Truck 37 was dispatched,along with units from the 3rd Battalion, to the 2900 block of Sunset Lane in Company 27′s (Morningside) 1st due. Engine Company 26 (District Heights) was first to arrive to find heavy smoke and fire showing from a detached garage to the rear of a house. Upon arrival of Truck 37, Engine 26′s Officer advised that there was possible extension to the house. Truck 37 was given the task of opening up Side C of the house to check for any extension. The crew reported to their assigned position and opened up the Charlie/Delta corner where fire extension proved to be negative. The crew also removed a portion of the wood deck that was burning. Command scaled the incident back to Engine 26 and Truck 37 to wait on Investigators. The Ladder Truck returned to service just after 1530 hours.
With the last call being run around 12:30 am, the unusual quiet at the station was finally broken. Around 4:30pm, company 37 was alerted to the house on fire in Company 29’s area. Truck 37 headed out with 4 volunteers as the 2nd due special service. While in route, communications started getting multiple calls of something on fire in the area of Fairlawn St. Engine 829 arrived on scene and reported a 1 story single family home with fire showing from the roof. Truck 37 arrived as dispatched and split into an interior and exterior crew. The outside crew threw ladders to the Charlie and Delta side of the structure, while the interior began their searches, (proved negative) and began to open up for the engine companies. Crews inside the structure encountered fire on the second floor that extended into the knee walls. The bulk of the fire was knocked within 15 minutes after opening up inside the structure. Truck 37 operated for an hour and a half before returning to service.