CECIL COUNTY NORTH EAST — Investigators probe fire that killed child
State fire investigators were trying to determine the cause of a one-alarm house fire that killed 9-year-old Richard Alexander Ponchak Tuesday.
Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said yesterday that the fire started in a second-floor bedroom at the home of David and Pamela Ponchak about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. The couple tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire, Mr. Thomas said.
About 40 Cecil County firefighters controlled the blaze within minutesand then found Richard on the bedroom floor, Mr. Thomas said.
The boy's father suffered burns and cuts. He was in good condition yesterday at Francis Scott Key Medical Center in Baltimore. Mrs. Ponchak and the couple's three other sons were released after treatment at Union Hospital in Elkton.
Mr. Thomas said the home had a fire detector, but the device had been taken down to change its batteries and never was replaced.