24 escape injury, left homeless in three separate Harford fires

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, January 10, 1963:

Three fires in Harford County left a total of 24 people homeless and in need of clothing and other necessities 50 years ago this week. All three families were being helped with donations from the community and the American Red Cross.

A frame house on Flintville Road, north of Castleton Road, owned by the Dollinger Family, was completely ruined by fire, displacing a family of six. The owners, their two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson, escaped from the flames with only the clothes on their backs. The fire in the Dollinger home was caused by an explosion in their heating system.

A fire on Federal Hill Road swept through a two-story house and garage where 11 family members of the Keefer family resided. An overheated chimney was thought to have started the blaze.

A third and final fire at the Williams residence at 822 Conestoga St. in Havre de Grace totally consumed the one and one-half story frame home and all of its contents.

Hopewell United Methodist Church in Level celebrated the Consecration of its new church. Bishop John Wesley Lord from Washington presided over the ceremony.

Senate President William James and House Floor Leader Dale Hess selected two members of the Maryland State Police from Harford County for their chauffeur-aides due to their positions of prominence in the legislature. Trooper William Reith of Hickory Avenue was assigned to Sen. James and Trooper Basil Coale of Fountain Green was chosen to aide Del. Hess.

Dr. Charles Willis, superintendent of schools, requested $6 million from the General Assembly for school construction in the next three years. Growth in the areas of Joppatowne, Edgewood and Bel Air was expected to increase the public school attendance by 50 percent in the coming years. The request included money for the new Harford Junior College to be built on Prospect Hill Farm, a desired Edgewood Junior High School, as well as a duplicate Aberdeen Junior High School and a $1 million Joppatowne Elementary School. It was also expected that by 1965 a third elementary school in the Bel Air area would be needed.

The Bel Air Theatre on Main Street was broken into and there was no sign of forced entry by the thief. Police believed that someone may have hidden in the building during the last show of the night. The thief took $11 from an envelope in the theatre office and he also broke into a soft drink dispensing machine and took all the change from it.

The groundskeeper at the Maryland Golf and Country Clubs invited anyone interested in skiing to enjoy the slopes of the golf fairways, which were snow covered and ideal for skiing. A tractor and wagon were converted to make an impromptu lift up the hills and a large pond at the club was cleared of snow so visitors could enjoy skating as well.

In an ad for a new housing development in Edgewood between Route 24 and Willoughby Beach Road, the Oak Street Addition: "Only $50 down and $89 a month (including principle, interest, taxes and insurance) $11,300 Total price including the lot! 3 big bedrooms, big closets, huge inside storage, country-sized kitchen, extra large living room."

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