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Chimney blaze damage estimated at $150,000


A one-alarm chimney fire caused $150,000 in damage to a two-story Sykesville house yesterday morning, but no one was injured, Howard County fire and rescue officials said.

The fire broke out about 10:30 a.m. in the 900 block of High Stepper Trail, burning an apartment over the garage and staining the entire second-floor of the house with smoke.

Eleven fire units and 30 fire personnel responded to the blaze, which was doused by 1:24 p.m. Firefighters used an extra 4,000-gallon tanker to make up for the absence of fire hydrants in the rural area. An icy driveway also provided slippery footing for the rescue workers.

"Even with the obstacles, we still made an aggressive attack on the fire," said Sgt. Bob Wiseman, of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

The homeowners, Rick Martinson, and his wife, Ann, were not home at the time of the fire, but Florence Peterson, Mrs. Martinson's mother, was home and called 911, telling a communications worker she suspected a chimney fire.

She then carried her 14-month-old granddaughter to a neighbor's house, where a fire chaplain later delivered a teddy bear to comfort the child, fire officials said.

"It gave her something to cling to and to calm her down," said Chaplain George Grimm. The bears, which are distributed through a program called Teddy Bear Patrol, are given to children involved in traumatic experiences.


* Lisbon: 15000 block of Carrs Mill Road: A tool box full of tools worth $1,400 was stolen from the rear of a gray Chevrolet S-10 truck Thursday.

700 block of Lisbon Center Drive: Police responding to an alarm at The Beverage Shop found the front door smashed and cigarettes stolen shortly after midnight Friday.

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