SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield


Deputy chief's death after fire ruled a result of heart disease

Michael J. Wilcom Jr., 34, the deputy chief of the New Market District Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company in Frederick County, died of "natural causes from active cardiac vascular disease," said a spokeswoman at the Maryland Medical Examiner's Office yesterday.

The 17-year member of the fire company suffered severe chest pains at his home Monday night after helping clean up chemicals at a two-alarm blaze that day at a refinishing operation on Buffalo Road in Mount Airy.

He was pronounced dead at Frederick Memorial Hospital, police said. Fire Chief Jerry Shanks of the New Market company said Deputy Chief Wilcom had an elevated blood pressure at the fire scene, but he took oxygen and relaxed, and the problem seemed to go away.

The vital signs of all firefighters at the fire were checked by a medical team working with the U.S. Army Hazardous Materials Unit from Fort Detrick because of the burning chemicals.

State police said they learned the deputy chief had complained of indigestion in recent weeks.


* Woodbine: Someone entered a vacant house for sale in the 15300 block of Frederick Road between Thursday and Monday, and stole a washer and a dryer, police reported.

* Mount Airy: Someone destroyed a brick mailbox in the 2400 block of Mullinix Mill Road between 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Monday.

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