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2 hurt, 6 left homeless in Sunnybrook Farm fire


Two people were injured and six were left homeless Sunday when a two-alarm fire destroyed a house on Frock's Sunnybrook Farm in Westminster.

One unidentified female resident was treated at Carroll County General Hospital for smoke inhalation. Firefighter Jim Starry, 29, of the Westminster Fire Company was treated for first-degree burns of the face, neck and ear.

Both were released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The more than 75 firefighters dispatched from stations in Westminster, Reese, Pleasant Valley, Manchester, New Windsor, Hampstead and Winfield were interrupted in their efforts when outside electric meters and some ammunition in one of the apartments exploded.

Westminster Fire Chief Jay Nusbaum said the explosion of the electric meter "looked like a light show" at the back of the building.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation by a deputy state fire marshal. Damage to the building was estimated at $35,000.

More than 200 people had been attending a dance in a banquet hall on the property a short distance from the house when the fire broke out about 9 p.m. Blocked in by the fire equipment crowding Sunnybrook Lane, they were unable to leave the property until an alternate driveway could be cleared of snow.

An American Red Cross official, Barbara Bankard, said five of the six displaced people were taken to a nearby motel for immediate shelter and are now seeking permanent housing.

One man, the resident of the downstairs apartment, was taken in by relatives, she said.

Firefighters remained at the scene of the Bond Street blaze for three hours and 44 minutes. Engines from Gamber were transferred to fill in at Reese, and equipment from Union Bridge was transferred to New Windsor for similar duties. They remained at those stations for four hours.

At 3:40 a.m. yesterday, debris from the fire reignited, and engines from Westminster, Reese and Pleasant Valley were dispatched.

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