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Boy, 5, dies in Edgewood townhouse fire

A 5-year-old boy died in a fire that started in the basement of an Edgewood home Friday evening, state police said.

A joint investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Maryland State Police got under way immediately at the scene of the one-alarm fatal fire at 1417 Charlestown Drive in Edgewood, the fire marshal's office said late Friday night.

The 6:25 p.m. fire was contained to the basement of the two-story wood frame, center unit townhouse by the first arriving firefighters, investigators said.

Approximately 45 firefighters from fire companies in Harford and Baltimore counties controlled the blaze within 25 minutes, the fire marshal's office said in a news release.

The home was occupied at the time by the boy, Cameron Wharton, his father and 2 year-old sister. The father, Harry, escaped with the daughter, Khamyah, but was not able to save his 5-year-old son, the fire marshal's release said.

Investigators have determined the fire originated in the basement of the home. The cause remained under investigation Tuesday.

The children's mother, Latoya Wharton, had left to go to the store with her 15-year-old son. A neighbor reported the fire then called the mother to notify her.

The fire marshal's office said working smoke alarms were operating at the time of the fire.

The victim was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who said Cameron died of smoke inhalation after breathing high concentrations of carbon monoxide.

Units from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Abingdon Fire Company, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, Edgewood Station and the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company in Baltimore County were alerted for a house fire with a child reported trapped inside, the Joppa-Magnolia Fire Company's public information officer said in an earlier news release issued from the scene.

Crews arrived to find a two-story, inside of the row townhouse, with smoke showing, the fire company news release added.

Several units remained on the scene after 11:15 p.m., the fire company said in a follow-up release.

Mobile Crisis Disaster Assistance was requested to assist the displaced occupants of the home, according to Joppa-Magnolia's public information officer.

The critical incident stress debriefing team from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Service Systems were also on scene, he said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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