A house on Wine Road, believed to be a century old, was destroyed in a three-alarm fire yesterday. No one was injured.
Area resident Donna Black, 26, said she was driving near her home on Bachmans Valley Road about 12:30 p.m. when she saw the smoke more than a mile away.
"It seemed too early in the day for a fire up there," said Ms. Black. "When I drove up here, I saw orange flames burning the house. It was a hot-burning fire."
She said she called the fire department from her car phone.
Units responded to the blaze in the 4200 block of Wine Road, near the intersection of Deep Run Road, from Manchester, Hampstead, Westminster, Pleasant Valley and Lineboro. Equipment was also dispatched from Arcadia and Boring in Baltimore County, and two engines came from nearby York County, Pa.
Manchester Fire Chief Steve Miller was unable to say what had started the fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the bottom floor of the house, but the attic continued to burn for more than an hour.
Roy Strine, a Deep Run Road resident who was on the scene yesterday afternoon, said he returned home from work to see the house on fire. He said a friend had rented the house for more than five years.
A woman who also lives in the house was not home when the fire broke out.
Neither the home's owner, 90-year-old John Sanders of Pikesville, nor fire officials were able to give an estimate of the damage.
Mr. Sanders said he was cutting the lawn of his house in Pikesville when he learned of the fire.
The exact age of the house was unknown. But firefighters and neighbors, noting logs in the second-floor walls burned by the fire, guessed that it was a century old. Mr. Sanders said he bought the house 30 years ago but has never occupied it.