The Prince George’s County Fire Department (PGFD) is still seeking the arsonist responsible for setting fire to a vacant home in Riverdale almost one year ago, setting off a blaze that left seven firefighters injured.
On Feb. 24, 2012, firefighters responded to a house fire at 6404 57th Ave. in Riverdale. While fighting the fire, a sudden gust of air swept through the house, creating “fireball-like” conditions inside the structure. The firefighters evacuated the house, but not before seven were injured.
One of the firefighters, Bladensburg volunteer firefighter Sgt. Kevin O’Toole, 23, suffered second and third degree burns over 40 percent of his body in the blaze. O’Toole is still recovering from his injuries and has not been able to return to full duty, according to PGFD Spokesperson Mark Brady.
In addition to O’Toole, six other firefighters sustained injuries while battling the blaze—one other firefighter from Bladensburg, four from Riverdale, and one from College Park.
In the investigation that followed, the fire was found to be the result of arson
The PGFD believes that someone has information related to the identity of the arsonist, said Brady.
“Please call and help us identify who is responsible for injuring seven firefighters and destroying the house,” Brady said in a statement.
A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to capture of the arsonist. Anyone one with information related to this crime is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Tips may also be texted securely and anonymously typing "PGPD" plus your message, and sending it from your cell phone to "CRIMES" (274637).
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives . To be eligible for their $5,000 reward you should call 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473).
Tips can also be left at the Prince George’s County Arson Tip Line at 301-77-ARSON, or email 77ARSON@co.pg.md.us.