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Stovetop Fire Claims Life in Bladensburg

Investigators believe a man's clothing caught fire while he was cooking in his apartment, leading to his death.

A Bladensburg man was found dead in his apartment Wednesday after apparently suffering fatal burns while cooking.

Police have yet to identify the man pending the results of an autopsy, but county fire officials believe the man was the occupant of the apartment.

According to Mark Brady, public information officer with the Prince George's County Fire Department, Bladensburg area fire and rescue personnel were dispatched to a 6th floor apartment at 5802 Annapolis Road at around 11 a.m. on Jan. 18 to investigate reports of smoke in the hallway. The apartment is located in the Phoenix Apartments complex, a 10-story apartment building. 

Investigators with the fire department believe the man's clothing caught fire while he was cooking. The ensuing blaze fatally wounded the man, who was pronounced dead on the scene.

The man suffered burns over his entire body and was found in the vicinity of the kitchen and living room area of the apartment, according to Brady. 

He added that these types of small fatal fires are not as rare as one might think. 

"While it's not uncommon, it's certainly not unheard of," Brady said. "We had two similar instances last year, one by way of cooking, one by way of smoking. In both we had individuals who had their clothing catch on fire."

Investigators also found evidence of a small stovetop fire. Despite the fatal nature of the blaze, damage to the apartment was minimal, says Brady, amounting to about $5,000. 

Investigators believe the fire was an accident. It is the first fatal fire incident in Prince George's County in 2012.

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