This Date in CHVFD History

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Six Children Killed in Thanksgiving Day Fire 1987

On this Thanksgiving Day, the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department responded to a tragic house fire on 69th Street in Seat Pleasant. Units arrived to find heavy fire conditions throughout the house and reports of numerous children trapped inside the house. After the fire was under control, the bodies of six (6) children were found, ages 10, 5, 4, 2 and 7 month old twins. Eight (8) civilians and firefighters were injured as well. The home was equipped with a smoke alarm, but no battery was found inside. As a result of this fire, Fire Chief M. H. “Jim” Estepp (now retired), initiated the Post Incident Neighborhood Intervention Program (PINIP) to saturate the area around a tragic fire, checking smoke alarms and providing fire safety tips. This program is still in place today. For those firefighters that were on the scene that tragic day, the incident is forever etched into their minds.