Seat Pleasant woman dies after house fire the morning after Thanksgiving

SEAT PLEASANT, Md. – The Prince George’s County Fire Department says a woman died after they rescued her from a house fire early Friday morning.

The fire department says they were called to the 6800 block of Wilburn Drive around 3:15 a.m.

When they got to the home, there was heavy fire coming from the top level.

Firefighters searched for the 80-year-old woman, identified as Elaine James, and found her unconscious inside the home and brought her out.

Fire officials say medics did CPR and she was taken to a nearby Trauma Center, but was pronounced dead a short time after her arrival at the hospital.

Her son, in his fifties, was able to get out of the home on his own and was taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire department says two firefighters sustained burn injuries and were taken to the Burn Unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. They were both treated and released.

Neighbors tell DCW50 that the family lost the father of the home just a few weeks ago.

“She was sweet,” says Tommia Proctor, a neighbor who woke up to the early-morning fire. “He helped my mom a lot, mowed the lawn, very friendly. It just makes you think, be grateful for the small things because in the blink of an eye it could all be gone.”

 

The fire department says there were no working smoke alarms were found in the house.

They determined that the fire was accidental and started in the area of the stove in the kitchen.

Firefighters returned to Wilburn Drive on Friday afternoon to go door-to-door to check for working smoke alarms and answer any questions that residents had.

They encourage those who cannot afford to purchase their own smoke alarm to call 311 and ask about the Fire/EMS Departments smoke alarm program. A firefighter will come out and install one 10-year smoke alarm, free of charge.

The homeowner, however, is responsible for purchasing and installing other alarms required by law.