Police and fire scan



PLEASANT VALLEY -- Fire ripped through a farmhouse built in 1769 Monday evening, displacing its owner and causing $100,000 in damage, fire officials said.

About 70 firefighters from five companies battled the blaze for more than an hour-and-a-half in the bitter cold twilight.

The home, in the 1500 block of Stone Road, is owned by 79-year-old Everett Stanley.

Neighbors who called the fire department and police at first believed Stanley was in the home, but it was later discovered that he was attending an auction when the fire began.

Stanley, who said he lived in the house for 28 years, said he often worried that he would come home some day and find something wrong with it.

The fire was discovered at about 5:20 p.m., when a neighbor and her friend saw smoke pouring from the roof of the house.

"I knew it was too much smoke to be coming out of the chimney," said Laura Walker, whose home is on Tyrone Road on a hill above Stanley's residence.

Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said late Tuesday that the home sustained extensive heat, fire and smoke damage, but was notdestroyed.

He said the fire is believed to have started on the first floor of the stone home, but the exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Thomas said the cause is not believed to besuspicious.

He said it was a tough fire to extinguish because it spread horizontally and vertically through the old home, and pockets of fire were at times concealed.


TANEYTOWN -- A 38-year-old Mount Airy man was arrested Monday and charged with sexually assaulting a 9-year-old town resident.

State police in Westminster and the Taneytown Police Department conducted a joint investigation that led to Charles Bernard Miller's arrest, police said.

State police said they received a call around 9 p.m. Monday from Taneytown police, who told them about the reported assault.

The victim, who knew the suspect as a family friend, told police she fell asleep after a youth meeting in Taneytown while waiting for her ride to pick her up.

At about 9:15 p.m., she told police the family friend picked her up and put her in his van. While she was in the van, she said, the man fondled her and caused her to wake up.

The man then coerced her into performing several sexual acts, police said.

She was told by the man to keep the incident a secret, and then he took her home, police reported.

Once home, the child told her parents what happened and they called the police.

The child was examined at Carroll County General Hospital and released.

The man is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center pending abail hearing, jail officials said.


NEW WINDSOR -- A 72-year-old Westminster woman was listed in fair and stable condition late Tuesday after a two-car accident on Route 31.

Marian Irene Wirtz, of the first block of Winchester Avenue, was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Hospital in Baltimore after the Monday evening accident.

State police said Wirtz was traveling westbound on Route 31 at Medford Road in her 1982 Ford Fairmount when she failed to reduce speed to avoid hitting a 1981 Ford Mustang that was stopped to make a left turn.

The Mustang was driven by Allen Glenn George of the first block of Washington Lane in Westminster.

George was not injured in the accident, police said.

Police said Wirtz was not charged in the accident.

Here is a compilation of some of the crime reported to local and state police:

Feb. 11

9:11 a.m., Manchester responded to a trash can onfire on Oakley Drive.

11:56 a.m., Taneytown responded to a brush fire on Stumptown Road.

12:00 p.m., Winfield, Sykesville and Gamber responded to a propane tank on fire in a shed on Klee Mill Road.

3:37 p.m., Hampstead, Manchester and Arcadia responded to a chimney fire on Huntsman's Trail.

5:29 p.m., Westminster, Pleasant Valley,Littlestown, Pa. and Reese responded to a house fire on Stone Road.

Feb. 12

12:20 a.m, Westminster responded for a wash detail on Route 31.

7:13 a.m., Sykesville, Winfield, Gamber and West Friendshipresponded for a chimney fire on Central Avenue.

7:48 a.m., Manchester, Hampstead and Westminster responsed for an appliance fire on Cape Hill Court.

5:08 p.m., Sykesville, West Friendship and Gamber responded for a house fire on Kalorama Road.


1400 block of Liberty Road: Theft of 1989 Ford Escort from store parking lot Feb. 9. Estimated loss: $6,000.

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