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Two Prince George's Co. firefighters charged after fight at fire | News

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Two Prince George's Co. firefighters charged after fight at fire

LANDOVER HILLS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two volunteer firefighters in Prince George's County have been charged with assault after they allegedly attacked two female career firefighters, according to charging documents.

Sources say the fight began Tuesday after the Landover Hills and West Lanham Hills companies responded to the same on 75th Avenue in Landover, Md. 

According to fire department sources, the fire engine from Landover Hills arrived first and the one from West Lanham pulled up moments later.

The two career firefighters, one of whom is Lieutenant, were on the first engine and getting ready to put a hose line in the house when two volunteer firefighters stopped them, first by blocking the doorway then with a push, and a fist, the charging documents say.

Then the conflict escalated. According to the Lt., after she walked into the house a different volunteer firefighter "grabbed onto [her] protective equipment and began forcefully pulling me out of the house."

The Lt says it only stopped when other firefighters stepped in.

Jeff Miller and Christopher Kelly have been charged with second-degree assault and obstructing firefighters. Both men are listed as members of the West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department.

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Prince George's County isn't involved in any of the legal proceedings, but the Chief of the Fire Department says all four firefighters involved in the situation are on leave.

Sources in the fire department say the fight was essentially a "turf war," a petty argument over which engine was in charge of the scene.

To Prince George's County Fire & EMS Chief Marc Bashoor, the fight was unacceptable. 

"We're all here for the same reason and when people arrive they expect us to be on the top of our game all the time and that doesn't involve turf," Bashoor said. 

The fight has already led to at least one operational change.

"We changed from being able to pass command to that they have to establish what is called tactical command, which means that first unit is in charge," Bashoor said. "They are the incident commander until they're relieved by a chief officer."

A fire department spokesperson said the fights did not hinder firefighters from putting out the fire. 

Neither firehouse would comment on the situation Thursday night. 

Sources tell WUSA9 none of the firefighters were arrested and instead were sent a summons. According to public records, they're set to appear before a judge in January. 

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