Abingdon man found dead in garage fire


A retired Army major was found dead yesterday by firefighters battling a blaze that destroyed the laundry room and garage of his Abingdon home, said a spokesman for the state fire marshal's office.

The body of James E. Schall Jr., 62, of the 700 block of Frans Drive was found by firefighters in the laundry room behind the garage shortly after the fire was reported by neighbors at 3: 50 p.m., said Allen Gosnell, a state fire marshal.

Schall served in the Vietnam War and was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Gosnell said. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

About 40 firefighters manning at least seven pieces of fire apparatus from volunteer fire stations at Abingdon, Joppa and Aberdeen battled the fire for less than 10 minutes and extinguished it before it reached the two-story frame dwelling, Gosnell said.

Gosnell said the cause of the fire was being investigated. He said damage was estimated at about $25,000.

Yesterday's incident was the ninth fatal fire the state fire marshal's office has investigated this year, Gosnell said.

Pub Date: 2/05/99

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