www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-ekridge-fire-20111226,0,7902305.story

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Fire damages Elkridge motel, closes U.S. 1

Two-alarm blaze at White Elk Motel draws units from nearby counties

By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

11:16 PM EST, December 26, 2011

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A two-alarm fire caused serious damage to a motel in Elkridge on Monday night, closing U.S. 1 for hours and drawing fire units from surrounding counties.

Jackie Cutler, a spokeswoman for Howard County Fire and Rescue Services, said the blaze broke out just before 9 p.m. in a second-floor section of the White Elk Motel. Occupants evacuated themselves, and there were no fatalities or injuries, she said.

Cutler said the cause of the fire was under investigation and that it was too early to give a damage estimate. She said the damage appeared to be confined to the second-floor units at the front of the two-story structure and didn't affect the block of rooms to the rear. About 60 firefighters took part in controlling the fire, coming from the Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore county departments as well as the Baltimore City Fire department and Arbutus volunteers, Cutler said.

The White Elk, which has been in business at 6195 Washington Blvd. since at least the 1950s, is something of a Howard County landmark with its distinctive illuminated sign picturing a white elk. It's the northernmost of a string of inexpensive motels along U.S. 1 in Elkridge and is known for its hourly rentals to couples. Cutler said smoke alarms had been installed.