• United States



by Jon Surmacz

Call to 911 in Fatal Maryland Fire Delayed

May 02, 20052 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Resident Tried to Put Out Blaze… It took several minutes before anyone notified the fire department of an early morning fire Saturday in College Park, Md., that killed one University of Maryland student and injured another. Michael A. Scrocca, 22, was killed in the fire and housemate Stephen Aarons, 21, suffered injuries from a leap from a second-story window, burns and smoke inhalation. The fire was first reported at 4:20 a.m. by a woman who used her cell phone as she drove by the house on the 7500 block of Princeton Avenue. According to Mark E. Brady, spokesman for the Prince George’s Fire/EMS Department, the call was processed and dispatched within 40 seconds and the first units arrived on the scene within four minutes. However, it was too late to save Scrocca. “We want every minute as possible for us to do our job,” Brady said. “But to say ’x’ amount of time would have made a difference, it’s hard to say.” The fire caused $300,000 of damage to the 2.5-story house. The house was equipped with working smoke alarms that had been tested two months ago by the City of College Park. Brady said that at least one resident of the house tried to douse the flames with cups of water. The owner of the building said there was a fire extinguisher on the premises, but none has been found nor was there evidence that one had been used, according to Brady.