Fire destroyed a house on Timber Lane in Joppa early Saturday morning, March 3. Fire investigators said the two occupants got out safely, but their two cats perished. The cause remains under investigation.
Fire destroyed a house on Timber Lane in Joppa early Saturday morning, March 3. Fire investigators said the two occupants got out safely, but their two cats perished. The cause remains under investigation. (Courtesy Joppa-Magnolia VFC)

A man and woman escaped without injury but their two cats perished when a fire destroyed a house in the 400 block of Timber Lane early in Joppa early Saturday morning.

Two occupants of the single-story dwelling were in bed and awoke to the sound of smoke alarms, according to a notice of investigation from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

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Upon checking they discovered a fire within the basement. Both the husband and wife attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher, as well as with all-purpose baking flour, but couldn’t, according to five investigators. The fire quickly spread beyond their control and both were able to escape; however, their two pet cats could not be saved.

The fire was reported at 6:41 a.m., and fire companies responded from Joppa-Magnolia, Bel Air, Abingdon, Fallston, Aberdeen, Kingsville and Perry Hall, according to the notice of investigation. More than 45 firefighters fought the fire in strong winds, bringing it under control at 8:13 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company which was first to arrive at 6:48 a.m.

Although working smoke alarms were credited by fire investigators with saving the two occupants lives, the house and its contents are considered a total loss, with total damage estimated at $500,000, according to the notice of investigation.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation; investigators believe the fire originated in the finished basement of the home.

Friends and the American Red Cross are assisting the displaced couple.

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