Two of the three people killed in the two-alarm fire in Edgewood last week have been identified.
Kimberly Ann Shupe, 47, and Ernest Milton Lee, 57, both died May 9 in the blaze that started around 2:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of Simons Court, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the incident with the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
The third person has not yet been identified, the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday morning.
The cause and origin of the fire, in which two others were injured and three people escaped, remain under investigation by the fire marshal’s office, public information officer Emily Witty said.
The fire marshal’s office is also investigating whether the house was an illegal boarding home, Witty said last week. Nine people were living in the home at the time of the fire, though only eight were home — the ninth resident was at work.
A week before the fire, 10 people had been living in the home, the Sheriff’s Office said last week.
The bodies of the three people who died were taken to the Office of the State Medical Examiner for identification.
One of the two people injured — a woman with burns to more than 70 percent of her body — remains hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Bayview, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The other injured person was released from Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.
Because the two people injured in the fire — as well as the three people who lived in the basement who escaped unharmed — are considered witnesses to a potential crime, the Sheriff's Office is not releasing their names until it determines if a crime has been committed, said Cristie Hopkins, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.
Brenda Parks-Sanders of Dundalk knew her sister was one of the people killed shortly after the fire, even though no one could tell her officially.
“I saw it on Facebook about the fire, I was trying to get through to her,” Parks-Sanders said, standing across the street from the burned-out building about 12 hours after the fire started last week.
Shupe had lived in the Simons Court house for about six years, Parks-Sanders said.
Shupe’s son, Scott Ackerman, lived with her in the home for a few years, but moved in with his aunt a couple years ago, he said.
He pointed to the window on the left side of the top floor, where he lived. It was heavily damaged by the fire.
The bodies of the three people killed were on the top floor. The three who escaped without injuries lived in the basement.
Ackerman said his mom usually kept to herself. She often took medication to help her sleep, so she was likely sound asleep when the fire started, he said.
His mom was a “sweet lady” who loved cats, he said.
“She was nice to everybody, she was a genuine kind-hearted person,” Ackerman said. “She didn’t deserve this, nobody deserves this.”
Shupe would help anybody, too, he said.
“She would cook for people… she just loved people, she would never want anything like this to happen to anybody,” Ackerman said.