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Two cars, garage torched during weekend fire in Monkton

A garage and two cars were destroyed after a fire in the 4000 block of Old York Road in Monkton on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
A garage and two cars were destroyed after a fire in the 4000 block of Old York Road in Monkton on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Courtesy Office of the State Fire Marshal)

A fire at a Monkton home left a garage and two cars in flames Saturday, the state fire marshal reported. But if not for the homeowner’s actions, it could have been much worse, fire officials said.

The first call for a fire at the 4000 block of Old York Road came at approximately 10 p.m., and firefighters from the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company rushed to the single-story home. The fire began with a space heater in the garage, according to a news release from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

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Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said that the home’s owner and her daughter were in the sunroom when they heard a pop or a bang. The homeowner went to check out the commotion, but felt the garage door before entering it. It was hot, and she saw smoke curling from the door, Alkire said.

“She had the wherewithal to touch the door and feel it is hot and keep it closed,” Alkire said. “Just by that action, she was able to keep that fire in the garage.”

Opening the door would have given the fire an avenue into the home, Alkire said, and could have exposed Rose to smoke and heat. Though the garage was a total loss, damage to the house was minor.

Two cars and the garage were torched, equating to approximately $100,000 in damage. About 40 firefighters responded to the blaze, which took 20 minutes to control, and three dogs and three people were able to escape safely, the fire marshal reported.

The office recommends space heaters are kept at least three feet away from anything flammable and are not plugged into extension cords.

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