1 dead, 1 injured in Harford County house fire

The Baltimore Sun

One person died and another was injured in an overnight house fire in northern Harford County early Thursday.

A resident of the mobile home in the 4400 block of Prospect Road in Whiteford discovered the fire just before 2 a.m., according to a news release from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The property is owned by Scott and Mary Jones, the release said.

It took 50 firefighters from Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company as well as Bel Air, Darlington and Norrisville volunteer companies and Delta-Cardiff and Fawn Grove volunteer companies in Pennsylvania about 30 minutes to control the blaze.

The previous fatal fire in Harford County was in 2016, when three people died. The year before, in 2015, two people died in fires.

Once the fire was extinguished, a male in his 20s was found dead inside the structure, according to Oliver Alkire, deputy state fire marshal. The body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

The three other family members were able to escape and notified firefighters of the man still inside. Because of the location of his room and the fire, the family members could not get to him, Alkire said.

Once outside, the father of the victim “made a very valiant effort” to rescue his son inside, Alkire said.

“He pulled away the siding from the house in hopes of gaining access to where the victim was,” he said.

The father also tried to go back inside but couldn’t because of the heat and flames.

Another resident was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with non-life-threatening burn injuries and was in stable condition.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

The origin and cause of the fire are under investigation by the fire marshal’s office. The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division is conducting the death investigation.

Alkire said the fire started inside the home and while the cause is still being investigated, officials believe it started accidentally.

“There is no reason to believe it’s suspicious in nature,” Alkire said.

The wind helped the fire spread, according to Frank Krick, spokesman for Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company.

“When winds are 30 miles an hour, it rapidly goes through anything,” Krick said. “Once the fire breaks through, it’s like a blowtorch effect.”

Both the home and a small mobile home adjacent to the home are considered a complete loss, estimated at $150,000, according to the news release.

There were no smoke alarms in the house, Alkire said.

The single mobile home had an attachment for a secondary residence, Krick said.

Seven people in two families have been displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

A previous version of this article misstated the address of the house fire. The fire occurred in the 4000 block of Prospect Road. The Sun regrets the error.
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