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Investigators seek cause of fire that destroyed Hillendale bingo hall, damaged 3 businesses


Baltimore County fire investigators were set to return today to the scene of a fire at Pleasant Plains Shopping Center in Hillendale to seek the cause of a blaze that destroyed a popular bingo hall early yesterday.

The fire, reported yesterday at 1: 15 a.m., caused an estimated $1 million in damage to the hall and three other businesses, according to the county Fire Department.

The bingo hall was closed when the fire broke out and no injuries were reported among the 100 firefighters who battled the blaze for nearly two hours.

Capt. Jerry Pfeifer said the fire at Pleasant Plains Optimist Bingo Hall in the 1000 block of Taylor Ave. near Loch Raven Boulevard caused the roof of the 200-foot-by-200-foot building to collapse.

Firefighters were able to prevent the flames from reaching adjoining businesses to the west.

Pfeifer said the hall -- which attracts more than 100 people on bingo nights -- was destroyed. Also damaged were Endless Summer Tanning Salon, Pizza Raven and Valencia Lynn's Beauty Salon, all located below the east side of the bingo hall.

Pfeifer said when the first firefighters responded on the initial alarm, the entire bingo hall was in flames and the roof had caved in.

"The second and third alarms were pulled at 1: 17 a.m. within seconds of each other," he said.

Pfeifer said volunteer and professional firefighters from stations in Towson, Hillendale, Parkville, Texas, Providence, Fullerton, Perry Hall, Lutherville, Cowenton and Long Green brought the fire under control at 3: 04 a.m.

Pub Date: 2/22/99

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