Carroll County Times

Man dead after early-morning fire in Finksburg

An early morning house fire in Finksburg left one man dead Tuesday, Nov. 13.

The fire broke out just after midnight in the 3100 block of Slasmans Road, according to Bruce Bouch, spokesman for the Gamber volunteer fire department.


Bouch said when the first units arrived there was active fire in the basement of the two-story structure. The home was broken into apartments, he said.

Smoke alarms were sounding upon arrival, Bouch said.


According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, which is investigating the fire, the house was a rental and broken into three apartments.

The 911 call was received at approximately 12:20 a.m. from the occupant who lived in Apartment A, according to a news release from the fire marshal’s office.

The two residents upstairs were alerted to the fire by the man downstairs, but the man downstairs was unable to escape and succumbed to his injuries from the active fire, Bouch said.

The man’s identity has not been released, pending notification to next of kin, he said.

“They tried to make entry, but there was too much smoke and heat for them to enter,” Bouch said.

Firefighters from Gamber volunteer fire company and surrounding fire agencies responded to the one-alarm fire, and it took about 50 fire personnel about 30 minutes to control the fire, according to the release.

Once the fire was extinguished, they found the deceased adult male occupant in Apartment B, according to the release. It is unknown if the smoke alarms were working at the time of the fire in Apartment B, though the smoke alarms in Apartment A were activated, according to the release. Apartment C was vacant at the time of the fire.

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The origin and cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the release.


The victim was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. The victim’s name has not yet been released pending identification and notification.

The damage caused approximately $175,000 to the structure and approximately $25,000 to the contents, according to the release.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation’s Division is assisting with the investigation, according to the release, and the Red Cross is assisting the two occupants from Apartment A.

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said via text anytime there is a death involved in a fire, the fire marshal’s office will determine the origin, and the Sheriff’s Office will look at the potential of criminality.

“Preliminary we don’t see any foul play but the investigation is still pending autopsy results,” he said.

This is the second fatal fire this year. A woman died in a fire in May in the 2000 block of Old Westminster Pike.