2 firefighters charged for fighting at house fire

The volunteer firefighters allegedly pushed a career firefighter and knocked her to the ground after she tried to enter a burning house

By FireRescue1 Staff

HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Two volunteer firefighters have been charged with assaulting and interfering with a female firefighter’s duties. 

West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department firefighters Jeffry Miller and Chris Kelly were indicted Tuesday, reported NBC Washington. The incident occurred Dec. 8, 2015, when career firefighters from Prince George’s County Fire and EMS and West Lanham Hills units arrived to the scene of a house fire. 

A state attorney alleges that Kelly hit the career firefighter when she tried to enter the home and knocked her off the porch. Miller then grabbed and pulled the firefighter off the porch when she tried to enter the home a second time. They were separated until police arrived on scene. 

“Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller were fighting with a career fire/EMS unit over who should be the first to go into a fire instead of remembering that their main responsibility was to help anyone in need and extinguish the fire, not argue over who goes inside first,” state attorney Angela Alsobrooks said. 

 Mark Brady, Prince George’s County Fire and EMS PIO, said he does not think the incident caused firefighters to lose significant time in controlling the fire. 

“We regret the shadow cast upon our department by this unfortunate incident and are committed to continue providing the highest caliber of fire and emergency medical services to the residents of Prince George’s County,” the department said in a statement. 

Kelly and Miller have been placed in administrative roles following the incident and will continue to do so until the case is resolved. 

“Providing fire and emergency medical services is not a competition and is not a turf battle,” Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor told WJLA.

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