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Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the State Fire Marshal and investigating the cause of a one-alarm fire that killed one woman in the 2000 block of Old Westminster Pike in Finksburg on Tuesday night, May 22, 2018.
Carroll County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the State Fire Marshal and investigating the cause of a one-alarm fire that killed one woman in the 2000 block of Old Westminster Pike in Finksburg on Tuesday night, May 22, 2018. (Courtesy photo / Office of the State Fire Marshal)

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Office of the State Fire Marshal are conducting a joint investigation into the cause of a house fire in Finksburg that took one woman’s life Tuesday night.

The fire occurred around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 2000 block of Old Westminster Pike, according to a news release from the fire marshal’s office.

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Firefighters from the Reese Volunteer Fire Company were told upon arrival that an adult female was inside the house in a second-floor bedroom. Firefighters were able to make entry into the house and rescue the woman from the house; however, she was later pronounced dead at the scene by an EMS crew as a result of injuries she sustained.

The verdict of a murder and arson case conducted as a bench trial continues to be deliberated.

The woman’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where she will be positively identified, and the cause and manner of death determined. Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said the deceased would not be identified until the information was released by the medical examiner.

No other injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported as a result of the fire, Alkire said.

Investigators say there were five total people, adults and children, in the two-story, wood frame house when they discovered a fire within the upstairs bedroom of the woman.

Two adults attempted to extinguish the fire while the other individuals exited the home safely, Alkire said. However, they became overwhelmed with smoke and were forced to leave the house, where the woman remained.

The same two adults then re-entered the home and attempted to locate the woman, and discovered the same bedroom door was locked with heavy smoke coming from under the door, Alkire said. Attempts to gain access to the bedroom were unsuccessful and the individuals had to exit the home for their own safety, and called 911.

Officials from the Office of the State Fire Marshall, as well as the Carroll County Sheriffs Office, are investigating a house fire with a reported explosion outside Taneytown.

Roughly 50 firefighters responded to the scene of the one-alarm fire, which took about 30 minutes to bring under control, the fire marshal said. Firefighters remained on the scene for several more hours, Reese spokesman Robin Stansbury said.

About 12 pieces of equipment from Westminster, Gamber, Hampstead and Sykesville in Carroll; and Reisterstown and Glyndon from Baltimore County responded.

Nearby Sandy Mount United Methodist Church served as a water source, but two tankers responded as a precaution, Stansbury said.

A joint investigation between the fire marshal’s office and the jurisdiction’s primary law enforcement agency is standard operating procedure whenever a fatal fire occurs.

This is the first fatal fire in Carroll County of 2018 and the first since two elderly individuals died inside a home in Taneytown last August.

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