Powder ignites, damaging Carroll rifle range

Black powder being used at the Hap Baker Firearms Facility next to Carroll County's Northern Landfill ignited yesterday, causing a fire that heavily damaged the rifle range and destroyed an office trailer.

Vivian Laxton, county spokesperson, said the officer on duty tried to extinguish the fire, but winds spread the flames to the rafters of the 80-by-24-foot roof of the rifle range.


The officer evacuated two people who were using the range, and no injuries were reported, Laxton said. There was no estimate of damage.

Emergency crews responded to the scene at noon and had the fire under control by 1:15 p.m., Laxton said. Northern Landfill, off Route 140 outside Westminster, was closed while emergency crews were on the scene.


A tanker task force was requested by the first units to keep water supplied to the two buildings. A total of 21 fire units responded to the blaze.

Hap Baker will be closed this weekend to the public, Laxton said. The county Recreation and Parks Department, which operates the facility, hopes to have the pistol range open next week. The pistol range was not damaged.

The facility is open to the public during the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating.