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Firefighter injured in Laurel fire out of hospital


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- One of two firefighters transported to the hospital for injuries suffered during a fire in Laurel has been released from the hospital.

Zachary Proffen, a Prince George's County firefighter, suffered serious burns to his hands, ears and other parts of his body while fighting an apartment fire Thursday in the 11700 block of South Laurel Drive, according to Prince George's County fire spokesperson Mark Brady.

Since the fire, Proffen has gone through multiple treatments, including skin graphs, at Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

Even though he is out of the hospital, Proffen is not expected to return to active duty for an extended period of time.

4 firefighters injured in Laurel apartment fire


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Four firefighters were injured in a fire at an apartment building in Laurel on Thursday, Prince George's County Fire and EMS said. 

Public forum held on Laurel hospital closure plan


LAUREL, Md. -- The Laurel Mayor's Office held a public forum Monday evening on Laurel Regional Hospital's plan to close by 2018.

Neighbors expressed their dissatisfaction about the decision by the hospital's owners, Dimensions Health Care, to shut it down.

"It's just incomprehensible to me. I mean what kind of a way is that to run a business? You don't do that," one forum attendee said.

Dimensions Health Care says Laurel Regional is under-used and losing money. Under the company's plan, the 106-bed facility would close completely by 2018 and be replaced with an outpatient facility.

According to the Prince George's County fire department, Dimensions Health Care plans to keep the hospital's emergency room open.

Man arrested for PCP possession near Laurel playground


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A man was arrested Monday for PCP possession near a playground in Laurel.

According to Laurel police, officers responded to a report of a suspicious person near the playground located at Oakpointe and Oxford Drive.

At the scene, officers noticed the odor of PCP coming from a subject identified as Jamal McMahon, 31, from Laurel. A search of McMahon uncovered 8 small vials and 1 large vial of PCP prepared for sale and $1200 in U.S. currency.

McMahon was arrested for possession with intent to distribute PCP.

Laurel Mayor responds to closing of Regional Hospital


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A major hospital in the Laurel-Beltsville region will close its doors by 2018. The plan is to replace Laurel Regional Hospital with a $24 million dollar outpatient facility.

It was made public Friday that the full service Laurel Regional Hospital will close, according to the Mayor, Craig A. Moe, and City Council of Laurel Department of Communications. The decision happened in closed door sessions and neither the community or local elected officials were involved in the final decision. It was based on a consultant's report that had no evaluation of the potential to sell the hospital and the campus, according to officials.

Laurel police deny public strip search charge


Laurel, Md. (WUSA9) -- Laurel police are denying a Prince George's County man's claim that he was strip searched in public and intentionally humiliated during an unjustified traffic stop in March of 2014.

"The City unequivocally denies that the traffic stop, which was initiated by a call about a suspicious vehicle was the result of any racial profiling, or that racism of any type was involved," said a statement issued by Laurel City Spokesperson Audrey Barnes late Thursday (see the full statement at the end of this article).

Man has medical emergency after lightning strike in Laurel


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A male construction worker suffered a medical emergency after a lightning strike in Laurel, Md. Thursday afternoon, according to the Prince George's County Fire Department.

The lightning strike was not a direct hit and happened near the construction worker, who is in good condition and has been taken to Prince George's Center hospital.

According to fire officials, the lightning strike happened at Muirkirk Road and Odell Road. The man, who is in his 50's. is part of the construction crew at the intersection.

A witness told WUSA9 the man was stunned and knocked down after the lightning strike, but conscious and alert.

The lightning strike happened at around 2:45 p.m.

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