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Investigation of fatal Abingdon fire continues; victim identified

Investigation continues into a house fire in an Abingdon home Saturday evening that killed an 88-year-old man.

Preliminary results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed John C. Youngblood died as result of heart failure from experiencing fire and smoke conditions in his second floor bedroom, according to a news release Monday evening from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The blaze began in the second floor bedroom of the single family dwelling at 703 Lombard Court, according to the fire marshal's office, which said the fire was first observed around 5 p.m. Saturday by a passerby who notified 9-1-1 of light colored smoke coming from the rear of the home.

Approximately 60 firefighters responded from Abingdon, Bel Air, Joppa-Magnolia and Level volunteer fire companies and Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, according to Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association Spokesman Dave Williams.

Once on scene, firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from a single-family, two-story dwelling, according to Williams. The blaze was extinguished "very quickly," Williams said, in about 45 minutes.

While battling the blaze, firefighters found a body in a rear second floor bedroom, according to the fire marshal's office. The home is on a quiet cul-de-sac with just four other houses in the Long Bar Harford area.

Two neighbors who were home Sunday afternoon said they had only a passing acquaintance with the man who died and did not wish to speak about him.

The house dates to 1968 and no immediate record of Mr. Youngblood buying the house is available, according to the state real property assessment website.

Deputy state fire marshals are investigating the origin and cause of the fire. The fire marshal's office estimates fire and smoke damage at $75,000.

Investigators determined the house had working smoke alarms at the time of the fire, according to the fire marshal's office.

There were no reported injuries to firefighters, Williams said.

Three people died in fires in Harford County in 2011 and in 2010.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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