At approximately 2020 hours on Tuesday, August 9, 2005, Company 5 was alerted to a car into a building. Both Capitol Heights residents and department personnel heard the crash. The crew pulled out onto the front ramp to find the tavern, just steps from our front door, with a hole in side delta with light smoke showing.
Engine Company 38, Truck 17, Rescue Squad 8, Paramedic Ambulance 5, Ambulance 179 and Battalion Chief 1 were dispatched on the initial assignment along with Engine 51. Collapse Rescue Squad 22, the Collapse Team, and fire investigators were later dispatched to the scene. Chief 5 was the Incident Commander. The Duty Chief and Division Chief 2 were also on the scene.
Engine 51’s crew found a car had crashed through our signboard, into Helen’s Tavern and out the other side. The car came to rest at the fence line between the building and the post office parking lot. The crew investigated for fire and searched for the driver of the vehicle. No fire was found. There was extensive damage to the structure. No victims were found in the structure or underneath the vehicle.
Squads on the scene assessed the position of the car and the verified that no one was trapped under the vehicle. It was decided that the car was resting on the concrete retaining wall and that the fence could be removed safely without the vehicle shifting. After this determination was made, the crew from Rescue Squad 8 removed the fence surrounding the vehicle.
Capitol Heights Police arrived on the scene to investigate and to coordinate the removal of the vehicle from the structure.
A building inspector also was on the scene to survey the structural damage.
During the removal Engine 51 and its crew stood by on our front ramp. At approximately 2200 hours the car was removed from the structure and units returned to service.