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College Park fire ‘put firefighters at unnecessary risk’

(PHOTO: PGFDPIO)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Fire officials are expressing concerns after a series of local fires have been difficult and dangerous for them to fight, due to various construction issues.

College Park’s fire chief, Bill Corrigan, spoke specifically about a five-alarm fire that occurred in April near the UMd. campus.

The building, Fuse 47, was still being built when it went up in flames. Putting it out took more than four hours, due the massive size of the apartment complex and the fact that the “standpipe valves”, used to pump water up through a building in an emergency, had been left in the closed position.

“Historic, large-loss fires have occurred around the country, including MoCo (2014) >$30M and PGCo (2017) ~$40M, type construction, limited access,” said Montgomery County Fire spokesman Pete Piringer on Twitter. “[Firefighters] across the U.S. and in the National Capital Region have serious concerns with these type fires.”

The difficulty of fighting these fires puts firefighters and the public at “unnecessary risk”, said Corrigan.