The Washington Post

Family Christmas tree ignites and burns Brandywine home, injuring two people

Two people were hospitalized, and a Brandywine house was nearly destroyed by fire Thursday night, after a dry Christmas tree apparently ignited from an electrical short, authorities said.

Firefighters from Prince George’s and Charles counties were called to a fire in the 16200 block of Ashbox Road about 9 p.m., said Mark Brady, a Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesman. Responding units found a one-story, single family home engulfed with flames, but a woman and daughter escaped the home.

The mother and daughter suffered minor burns and singed hair and were taken to a local hospital, Brady said.

One of the residents told firefighters that a small electrical short ignited the family Christmas, which burst into flames and injured her. The fire spread quickly through the home, which was damaged extensively, and may be a total loss, Brady said.

The family’s 4-month old dog is also missing, Brady said.

Officials caution that dry, brittle Christmas trees can be a fire hazard and should be removed from homes following the holidays.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.


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