Christmas tree removal proved costly for a Maryland family.
Just before 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11 firefighters from Laurel, Beltsville and units from Anne Arundel and Howard County were summoned to the 11700 block of Montague Drive in the Montpelier section of Laurel for a house fire with people trapped.
First arriving crews reported heavy fire showing from the basement area of a two-story split level dwelling with fire extending to the upper floors.
With a very aggressive attack, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within 20 minutes.
According Mark Brady, chief spokesperson for PG Fire/EMS, the family was removing their Christmas tree from the lower level of their home. It came in close proximity to an active fireplace and the tree suddenly burst into flames causing other items in the area to catch fire.
Prior to firefighters arriving, two adults and two children were able to escape the flames, but an adult female suffered first and second-degree burns to her hand. She was transported to a local burn center.
A firefighter also was transported to the same burn center with first and second-degree burns to his hands.
Fire loss is estimated at $160,000.