Bel Air house fire

Firefighters gather on the front lawn of a home on Virginia Avenue in Bel Air after putting out a fire Saturday afternoon that caused extensive damage to the dwelling. (DAVID ANDERSON | AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun Media Group / August 9, 2014)

Fire extensively damaged a home just south of Bel Air on Saturday afternoon.

The first call for the home in the first block of Virginia Avenue was dispatched at 2:53 p.m., as responders were advised flames were visible from one side of the single story brick, ranch style home with an attached garage.

The first arriving unit from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company immediately requested additional units and water supply. The home is located about a mile off Route 924 near a wooded area.

The Harford Fire and EMS Association said on its media Facebook page that first units on the scene reported "heavy fire through the roof," and multiple fire companies responded to assist the BAVF.


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According to monitored Harford County emergency radio broadcasts, the bulk of the fire was reported "knocked down" at 3:28 p.m.

Temperatures were in the low 80s.

Lt. Tom Harrington of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company said it took about 30 to 45 minutes to extinguish the flames.

More than an hour after the fire was out, firefighters continued to work inside and outside the house to extinguish hot spots and clear debris from the interior.

A portion of the roof was charred, and an investigator from the Office of the State Fire Marshal could be seen on the roof inspecting the damage.

No one was home, and no firefighters were injured, Harrington said.

Harrington said firefighters from companies in Fallston, Abingdon, Joppa-Magnolia and Kingsville provided the mutual aid to Bel Air VFC.

Bob and Peggy Cavanaugh, who live about a block away, saw the flames coming from the home.

"When the first trucks got here, we walked down to see what was going on," Peggy Cavanaugh said.

She said she could see flames coming out of the left-hand side of the roof.

The couple watched firefighters cut a hole in the roof and tear off siding to control the blaze.

"The flame was shooting out of the garage," Bob Cavanaugh said.

daanderson@baltsun.com