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Fire damages Bel Air house Tuesday afternoon

Flames shoot from a house on George Street in Bel Air on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators haven't ruled out that the fire was caused by an overloaded extension cord. No injuries were reported; however, a family cat may have died, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Flames shoot from a house on George Street in Bel Air on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators haven't ruled out that the fire was caused by an overloaded extension cord. No injuries were reported; however, a family cat may have died, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. (Courtesy Bel Air VFC)

Fire investigators say they aren’t ruling out the possibility that an overloaded extension cord caused the fire that extensively damaged a Bel Air house late Tuesday afternoon.

Units from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company responded to the call in the 300 block of George Street at 4:27 p.m., according to the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS association’s media Facebook page.

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Photos from the scene showed flames shooting from a front door and window of the single story house. The Fire & EMS Association reported that the fire was brought under control by 4:50 p.m. Some 30 firefighters responded.

Five people live in the house, including three children, ages 5, 10 and 11, according to a notice of investigation from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

No injuries were reported to the residents or fire personnel; however, fire investigators said they believe a family cat may have died.

Damage to the house, which is a rental, according to the notice of investigation, is estimated at $60,000 to the structure and $20,000 to contents.

Investigators say they believe the fire started in the area of the living room which had been converted into a bedroom.

A passerby reported the fire to one of the residents of the house, who was in the back yard with a neighbor and his daughter, according to the notice of investigation. The resident broke a window and tried to extinguish the flames with a garden hose, but to no avail, according to the report.

The house had a smoke alarm, but investigators said it was not clear if it activated.

The investigation of the cause was continuing Wednesday, the the notice of investigation states that an “overloaded extension cord cannot be ruled out.”

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