Robert Dale Parker was in the kitchen of his Bel Air residence Monday afternoon, cooking, when he heard a “bang.”
“Next thing I knew, I went out on the deck and there was flames shooting everywhere,” Parker, 57, said.
Parker, his 15-year-old son and their two dogs were able to get out of their house at East Broadway and North Shamrock Road ahead of the flames. His son called 911.
“We all four got out ahead of time,” Parker said as firefighters inspected and sprayed down the blackened rear deck.
He said the fire companies’ response was “very prompt.”
The fire originated on the rear porch, and the cause remained under investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal as of Monday evening.
“We cannot rule out discarded smoking materials,” Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said at the scene.
He said Parker’s son made the 911 call at 4:05 p.m. Monday. About 40 firefighters, from companies including Bel Air, Joppa-Magnolia, Abingdon, Fallston and Kingsville, were at the scene, according to Alkire.
He said it took about 15 minutes to get the fire under control.
The blaze caused “extensive fire damage” to the rear porch and “heavy smoke and soot damage” throughout the interior of the house, Alkire said. The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the structure and contents inside the house, according to a notice of investigation released by the Fire Marshal’s Office Monday night.