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.
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.