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News Maryland Harford County Abingdon

Belcamp homeowner hospitalized for burns after 'quick-moving' fire destroys house Wednesday evening

A Belcamp homeowner was hospitalized for burns after a two-alarm fire gutted his home early Wednesday evening, Harford County fire officials said.

Two adjoining homes suffered moderate heat-related damage.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Robert and Josie Gambrill, of the 4300 block of Winners Circle, "were inside and unaware of the quick-moving fire when a neighbor observed flames inside the attached garage of the home and alerted them to the blaze, allowing them to escape but not before Robert Gambrill sustained minor burn and smoke inhalation injuries," according to a Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office news release sent Thursday morning.

The home was seen engulfed in flames and heavy smoke, according to the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association.

The fire was reported to be under control by 6:24 p.m., association spokeswoman Jenn Chenworth Price said.

Nearly 80 firefighters from "multiple Harford County fire departments" responded to the blaze, according to the Fire Marshal's Office. Responding units were observed at the scene from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Aberdeen Fire Department, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, Level Volunteer Fire Company and Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company.

Robert Gambrill suffered burns to his face and was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in serious condition, Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company spokesman Andy Doyle said.

Gambrill is "expected to make a full recovery," according to the Fire Marshal's Office's release on Thursday.

An unidentified firefighter was also treated and released at the scene for a minor eye injury, Harford fire officials said.

Two more occupants of the home, Zachary Cochran and Jordan Raymond, were able to escape through the basement, according to the Fire Marshal's Office.

"Investigators have determined the fire originated inside the garage and believe the fire was quickly accelerated once flames impinged and breached a container of gasoline," according to the Fire Marshal's news release. "The intense fire caused moderate heat related damage to both houses on either side of the involved home."

Damage to the home and contents is estimated at $500,000. The owners and occupants are being assisted by the American Red Cross and family members, according to the release.

Investigators have not found any evidence of arson, according to the Fire Marshal's Office's news release, and will continue to probe the fire's exact cause.

Check back with http://www.explore.com for updates.

Aegis staff member Matt Button contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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