Fire destroyed one townhouse and damaged two others on Olive Branch Court North in Edgewood on Sunday night. No injuries were reported.
Fire destroyed one townhouse and damaged two others on Olive Branch Court North in Edgewood on Sunday night. No injuries were reported. (Courtesy photo/Joppa-Magnolia VFC)

An Edgewood townhouse was destroyed and adjoining townhouses on either side of it were damaged in a fire Sunday night, fire investigators said.

It was the latest of a series of residential fires in Edgewood, Abingdon and Bel Air from Friday through Sunday.

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Sunday night’s fire began on a rear deck of a middle of group townhouse in the 900 block of Olive Branch Court, according to a notice of investigation from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The cause remains under investigation, the Fire Marshal’s Office said.

Investigators said the townhouse was occupied by Amanda Nurse-Gibbs and her family; all escaped without injury. The owners are Amanda Nurse-Gibbs and Ronnie Gibbs, according to property tax records.

Nurse-Gibbs discovered the fire and reported it shortly before 11 p.m.

The Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company responded, as did other area companies, but the fire escalated to two alarms, and it took some 60 firefighters approximately 90 minutes to bring the fire under control.

When they arrived, the Joppa-Magnolia chief reported the fire was “well-involved” across the rear of the three adjoining dwellings, according to a post on the Harford Fire Blog page on Facebook.

On its Facebook page, Joppa-Magnolia VFC reported multiple fire companies in Harford and Baltimore counties responded, as did the Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department.

“Because of teamwork, the fire did not extend past the original three homes‬,” the fire company post states.

No injuries were reported. The townhouse where the fire started had a smoke alarm but it did not activate, according to investigators.

In addition to destroying the house where it started, the fire did exposure damage to adjoining units.

All residents who were displaced are being assisted by the American Red Cross, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. Damage is preliminarily estimated at $275,000.

Deck fire in Abingdon

Earlier on Sunday, firefighters were called to a deck fire in Abingdon around 11:40 a.m., according to the Fire Marshal’s Office, but quick-acting neighbors had already doused the fire with a garden hose.

Neighbors had observed smoke coming from the deck of the single-family house in the 2600 block of Laurel Valley Garth. The occupant of the home, identified as Rachael Jagodzinski, was not at home, according to a notice of investigation. The Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company responded.

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The preliminary cause is listed as improperly discarded smoking materials, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Structural damage is estimated at $10,000.

Vehicle fire spreads to house

On Saturday morning, a fire that started in an SUV in a driveway and spread to the house caused an estimated $200,000 in damage, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

A fire that started in a vehicle in a driveway and spread to the house caused an estimated $200,000 in damage early Saturday morning, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
A fire that started in a vehicle in a driveway and spread to the house caused an estimated $200,000 in damage early Saturday morning, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. (Courtesy photo/State Fire Marshal)

The fire in the 2900 block of Siwanoy Drive in Edgewood wasreported at 5:14 a.m. The cause remains under investigation, investigators said.

A 2002 Ford Explorer, owned by Joshua Farr, was parked in the driveway in front of the house and the fire spread to the garage of the two-story, single-family home, where Farr lived with Vaughn Clark, according to a notice of investigation from the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Firefighters from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company helped Farr out of the house and brought his dog to safety, according to the notice.

It took 30 firefighters from Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company, who were assisted by Joppa-Magnolia, Bel Air, Aberdeen, White Marsh and Kingsville volunteer fire companies and Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department about 30 minutes to control the blaze.

Smoke alarms in the home did not appear to activate, according to the notice.

Electrical fire

Also on Saturday, at about 1 p.m., an electrical failure caused a fire on the rear porch of a home in the 1300 block of Cheshire Lane in Bel Air, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

An electrical failure caused a fire on the rear porch of a home in the 1300 block of Cheshire Lane in Bel Air Saturday around 1 p.m., according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
An electrical failure caused a fire on the rear porch of a home in the 1300 block of Cheshire Lane in Bel Air Saturday around 1 p.m., according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. (Courtesy photo/ State Fire Marshal)

The owner of the home was using an electric smoker plugged into an exterior wall outlet when the fire started, investigators said.

Twenty firefighters from Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, who were assisted by Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company firefighters, controlled the fire in five minutes and kept it from spreading into the attic, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

The house is owned by Bryan and Sarah Gebhardt who live there with their two children.

Damage is estimated at $10,000.

Auto fire

On Friday evening at about 9:45 p.m., a 1988 Dodge Ram 1500 van was set on fire in the rear of Chesapeake Auto in the 700 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen, according to investigators.

A 1988 Dodge Ram 1500 van was set on fire around 9:45 p.m. Friday to the rear of Chesapeake Auto in the 700 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen.
A 1988 Dodge Ram 1500 van was set on fire around 9:45 p.m. Friday to the rear of Chesapeake Auto in the 700 block of South Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen. (Courtesy photo/State Fire Marshal)

The fire started in the interior of the salvaged van, according to a notice of investigation from the Fire Marshal’s Office. Ten firefighters from Aberdeen Fire Department controlled the fire, discovered by a passerby, in about 5 minutes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-836-4844.

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