Oxon Hill man, 59, dies after blaze at home

A 59-year-old Oxon Hill man died after suffering burns and smoke inhalation in a fire that tore through his home Sunday morning, according to a Prince George's County Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman.

Firefighters responded to the 5100 block of Boulder Drive about 5:30 a.m. for reports of a man trapped in a fire and found heavy smoke coming out of the home, said Mark Brady, the spokesman.

They located the man, who was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:30 p.m., Brady said.

The man's wife, described as being in her 50s, also suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated and released from an area hospital, Brady said.

A preliminary investigation determined the man, who police did not identify, was trying to refuel a kerosene space heater without turning the heater off, Brady said.

"There was either a spillage of the fuel or the fumes from the fuel ignited and caused the fire," Brady said.

Brady said such heaters should always be turned off and taken outside before refueling.

The fire caused $50,000 in estimated damages to the home, he said.

About 10 a.m., Prince George's firefighters were called to a separate fire in the 2500 block of Van Buren Street in Chillum, where they found both units of a duplex on fire, Brady said.

No one was injured in the blaze, but both homes were destroyed, with an estimated $100,000 in damage, Brady said.

Thirteen people were living in one of the homes, and two in the other. All have been displaced and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross, Brady said.

A preliminary investigation showed the fire was caused when a heat pump malfunctioned in the backyard of the duplex and burst into flames, which then spread up an exterior rear wall of the home.



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