A Forest Hill mother and four children in her care escaped a bedroom fire that caused "moderate damage" to an East Jarrettsville Road home Monday afternoon, according to Harford County fire officials.
One of the children, who are all under the age of eight, alerted the mother who was sleeping, and all five of those inside got out of the house safely, according to a follow up notice of investigation from the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. The mother then contacted the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, whose Forest Hill substation is across the street from the home.
Rich Gardiner, spokesman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association, said via text message the fire was brought under control in 10 minutes.
Monitored emergency radio broadcasts reported a "working dwelling fire" shortly around 1:20 p.m.
About 25 firefighters from Bel Air and Jarrettsville responded, Gardiner reported on the Harford County Md Fire & EMS PIO Media Page on Facebook. There were no injuries reported, and the fire was "contained to a second floor bedroom," Gardiner wrote.
Personnel at the scene said the fire started in an upstairs bedroom of the wood-frame house and was contained to that room. There did, however, appear to be considerable damage to the second floor of the house.
The Fire Marshal's notice of investigation states the cause of the fire was "accidental – due to juvenile fire play."
Damage to the home is estimated at $40,000 and damage to the contents is estimated at $10,000, the Fire Marshal's Office said. The house did not have smoke alarms, according to the notice of investigation.
The displaced family is being assisted by Harford County Disaster Assistance, according to the Fire Marshal's Office.