At 8:20 PM on Monday, November 1, 1999, a box alarm was sounded for a fire in
a building at the Beaute Outlet, a beauty supply store. This store is
located in the Marlow Heights Shopping Center, a strip shopping center in the
4200 block of Branch Avenue. The first arriving engine from the Silver Hill
Station 29 arrived on the scene and found thick black smoke billowing from
the front of the store. An interior attack was made and crews had to draw
back from the intense heat and blinding smoke. A second and third alarms
were quickly sounded, bringing a total of 104 firefighters and rescue
personnel to the scene. The fire extended from the basement through the 1st
floor and started to burn at the ceiling level. With the integrity of the
roof compromised, the roof started to bow under the weight of a 10 ton air
conditioner. A call to evacuate the interior and roof area was immediately
made. The bulk of the fire was extinguished by 10:20 PM. Damages estimates
are at $750,000 to the building and $250,000 to the contents. A clothing
store, DOTS, was damaged by fire, water and smoke as well as a McCorys
Department store. These stores were located on either side of the Beaute
Outlet Store. A Pizza Hut sustained minor damage and will not be allowed to
reopen before an inspection.

Mark Brady
Public Information Officer
Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department