Fire at sawmill leads to explosion

An abandoned sawmill in northern Baltimore County caught fire yesterday morning, sparking an explosion and prompting several road closures as firefighters worked to control the blaze.


Crews were dispatched at 10:10 a.m. to Lieb Road in the rural northeast corner of the county, near the Pennsylvania border and the Harford County line.

Firefighters responding to the one-alarm blaze drew water from a nearby stream to help extinguish the flames, according to Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.


After the building caught fire, a drum containing an unknown quantity of diesel fuel ignited and exploded, Armacost said, complicating firefighters' efforts. The abandoned mill partially collapsed in the fire.

"Diesel fuel burns differently than gasoline," she said. "But our crews contained it without too terribly much difficulty."

No one was injured in the fire, which prompted the temporary closures of Bond, West Liberty and Harris Mill roads, according to the fire department.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Armacost said.

Jennifer McMenamin

Franklin High

Grant to pay for press box, lighting

A sports booster group at Franklin High School has received a county grant of nearly $90,000 to help pay for a new press box and lighting at the Reisterstown school's stadium.


Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. presented a check for $89,500 yesterday to Franklin High Prinicipal Dean Terry and Franklin High Athletic Boosters President Alyssa Woods, a county spokeswoman said.

The press box has been built, and the lighting is expected to be ready for spring sports events.

The booster club applied for the grant through the county Department of Recreation and Parks.

Total costs for the stadium improvements at Franklin High were $135,000. The booster group raised $45,500.


Crime prevention, youth grants


Applications for community crime prevention and youth activity grants are available from the Baltimore County Police Department.

An application packet, which outlines requirements and regulations, is available from the department's Grants Management Team by calling 410-887-5637.

Grants will be awarded only to individuals who live in the county and to programs that operate in the county. Nonprofit groups, community organizations and individuals may apply.

The department distributed about $100,000 in 48 grants last year and expects to distribute a similar amount this year, a police spokesman said.

Completed applications must be returned by March 27. Grants cover the period from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008.



'Once on This Island' performed

Winters Lane Productions will present the musical, Once on This Island to celebrate Black History Month.

Performances will be held at at 8 p.m. today and at 8 p.m. Feb. 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 and at 3 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 18 and 25. All performances are in the Q Theatre at the Community College of Baltimore County's Catonsville campus.

Advance tickets are $18, and $16 for students, children and seniors. Tickets at the door will cost $20.

The musical tells the story of a black peasant girl who rescues, nurses and falls in love with a boy of mixed race from a wealthy family as the gods who rule the island test the strength of her love against the forces of prejudice, hatred and death.

Information or tickets: or 410-780-6369.


Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.