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Family escapes house fire unharmed in Oakland Mills


A family of four escaped without injury from their single-family home in Columbia after a fire broke out about 6 a.m. yesterday, a Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

Firefighters arrived at the burning house, in the 5500 block of Thunder Hill Road in Oakland Mills village and learned that guns, ammunition and an acetylene torch were inside, spokesman Bill Mould said. Firefighters brought the blaze under control in about 20 minutes, but continued to spray water on the house until about 10 a.m., Mould said.

The four family members included parents and their two children. One of the children escaped the home through a window, Mould said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The damage was estimated at more than $300,000, and the house was deemed a "total loss," Mould said.

High-powered lights and generators were brought to the scene yesterday to help investigators, who planned to work through the night.

Traffic was blocked on Thunder Hill Road and vehicles heading east on Route 175 experienced congestion, Mould said.

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