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The Aegis
Harford County

'Super-custom' 1947 Lincoln damaged by fire in Churchville

Fire investigators say a customized vintage car, estimated by the owner to be worth more than a half a million dollars, was extensively damaged in an early morning fire in Churchville Wednesday.

The vehicle, described in a Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office notice of investigation as a "1947 Lincoln custom show car," was reported on fire at a property in the 2600 block of Churchville Road at about 2:45 a.m.

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Four Level Volunteer Fire Company firefighters had the fire under control within 20 minutes, according to the notice of investigation, which also states the loss estimated by the owner, James S. Cooper, is $600,000.

Cooper, contacted by telephone Wednesday evening, said he did want to comment about the fire or the vehicle.

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Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce D. Bouch, spokesman for the Fire Marshal's Office, said the cause of the fire, which is believed to have originated in the vehicle's passenger compartment, remains under investigation.

Bouch said the deputy fire marshal who investigated at the scene reported the car was in the process of being towed when the fire began.

"The car has a lot of custom details and specialized electronics," said Bouch, who also explained the estimate of the loss in the investigation notice was made by the owner at the scene.

Michael Deluca, who said he owns the property where the fire occurred, said he and Cooper found the Lincoln in a garage on a property in Forest Hill they purchased about seven years ago.

He said Cooper had most of the investment restoring and customizing the vehicle.

"It started out as a '47 Lincoln, but it was a super-custom car," Deluca said. "We're sick about it."


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