Waldorf, Maryland – A fire broke out at an apartment complex in Waldorf, Charles County, Maryland on April 22, 2023, at around 11:40 p.m. The apartment complex, located at 2225 Stream Vista Place, was owned and occupied by Kada Richards.
According to the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, one firefighter sustained minor injuries while responding to the fire. The estimated loss of the structure was $30,000. The occupant discovered the fire, and it took the fire department 20 minutes to control the flames.
The primary cause of the fire was improper disposal of charcoal from the grill, which originated from the balcony. The preliminary cause of the fire has been declared accidental. The apartment complex had smoke alarms and fire alarms/sprinklers, which were present and activated at the time of the incident.
The Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department was the primary responding agency with 37 firefighters and one alarm.
The Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department reminds everyone to be mindful of their surroundings and to take proper precautions when using grills.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), outdoor grilling causes an average of 10,200 home fires each year. These fires result in an average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 injuries, and $123 million in property damage.
The NFPA recommends the following tips for safe grilling:
- Place the grill at least 10 feet away from the house, deck railings, and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Never leave the grill unattended.
- Always make sure the grill is clean and free of grease buildup.
- Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
- If you smell gas while cooking, immediately move away from the grill and call the fire department.
- If using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluid designed for charcoal grills.
- When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
- If using a propane grill, turn off the burners and close the propane cylinder valve.
By following these tips, we can all enjoy the summer grilling season safely. Remember, grilling should be a fun and enjoyable activity, but safety should always come first.