Three Westminster residents are facing an estimated loss of $150,000 after their home caught fire early Sunday morning, causing extensive damages and killing seven of their chickens, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said.
None of the occupants were home at the time, and nobody was injured, Alkire said.
The Westminster Volunteer Fire Department, along with volunteer and career firefighters from seven other fire companies, responded to the blaze, spokesperson Kevin Dayhoff said Monday.
According to the fire marshal’s investigation into the fire, 25 firefighters in total responded to the house on the 2200 block of Old Washington Road at around 3 a.m. Sunday. They were able to extinguish the blaze in 30 minutes, according to the report.
The blaze was discovered by a passerby, according to the investigation, and upon their arrival, responding departments found fire burning on the home’s first and second floors. According to Dayhoff, there were cars in the driveway, so Westminster firefighters entered the burning home to see if anybody was inside the building. They did not find anyone.
Alkire said on Tuesday that one of the home’s occupants, an Uber driver, was “out and about” at the time of the fire. The other two occupants, a father and daughter, were on a camping trip in West Virginia, Alkire said.
According to the fire marshal’s investigation, the fire was caused by a heat lamp in a chicken coop behind the house. Seven chickens perished in the fire, Alkire said.
Alkire added that the house is facing extensive water, soot, heat and smoke damages, which, according to the investigation, will cost around $150,000.
Responding units also arrived from the Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company, Gamber and Community Fire Company, Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department, New Windsor Fire Department, Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department and the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company.
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All three occupants are being assisted by friends and family, according to the investigation.