“It’s very sad, and very frustrating,” Prince George’s Fire Chief Marc Bashoor said. “We have a family that’s now broken.”
The deaths came on a terrible night that was part of a terrible few days in Prince George’s County. Less than nine hours earlier, a 3-year-old rushing to greet his grandmother was run over by a car that rolled backward after his father left it running. And in a 48-hour span Monday and Tuesday, four people were shot and killed, including the sixth Prince George’s school student to be slain this school year.
As more residents have been touched by the rash of tragedy and violence across this sprawling suburb, feelings of restlessness and fear have grown. At a vigil for a murder victim Wednesday night, youths shoved each other, and others scattered in fear of more violence. At the scene of the fire Thursday, neighbors shook their heads as they reflected on the seemingly unending stream of tragedies.
“I’m really feeling bad right now,” neighbor Sara Furr said. “It’s really sad.”
Bashoor said firefighters pulled four people without a pulse from the burning house in Glenarden — a father and three of his daughters, ages 11, 8 and 4. The father, 8-year-old and 4-year-old were pronounced dead at the hospital, he said. Emergency workers were able to restore the 11-year-old’s heartbeat, and she was in critical condition Thursday.
Another 8-year-old daughter — a twin of one of the victims — and her mother jumped out of a window before firefighters arrived, Bashoor said. They were hospitalized for smoke inhalation but are expected to recover.
Bashoor did not immediately identify those killed in the fire, saying officials were awaiting autopsy results. But officials familiar with the case identified them as Tania Monae Jeanita Price, 8, Patrice Price, 4, and Darrell T. Price Jr., 36. Surviving are Daijah Nya-Tashawn Price, 11, Tamia Jonae Jean Price, 8, and their mother, Teresa Price, 33, according to an official and neighbors.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they could be disciplined for providing the names ahead of the fire department’s official announcement.
Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale said the home was being renovated and had extension cords running to multiple appliances. Investigators were looking into that as a possible cause.
Bashoor, though, said the renovations and cords did not seem to be a “primary issue.” He said the fire started in the home’s living room, but the cause remained under investigation.