CHESTER — Fire destroyed a garage and damaged neighboring houses in Gibson’s Grant during the early hours of Sunday, June 14.
Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Tracy Schulz said firefighters responded to the call to 215 Thomas White Blvd. at 1:25 a.m., and the garage, with a car inside of it, “was pretty well involved” when they arrived.
Responding with KIVFD were Grasonville, Queenstown and United Communities volunteer fire departments; Anne Arundel County Fire Department sent an engine; Queen Anne’s Emergency Services sent a paramedic unit.
The garage was only linked on one side with a walkway to the two-story, single family dwelling, Schulz said. The fire extended to the walkway, triggering a single sprinkler head inside the house, he said. The garage did not have sprinklers.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office reported it took 40 firefighters about 40 minutes to get the fire under control.
The fire marshal’s report identified homeowners as Michael and Colleen White. They were home at the time of the fire and alerted by the home’s smoke alarm, according to the fire marshal’s office. The fire was discovered by a passerby.
Schulz said the firefighters made an aggressive attack.
“We stopped the fire from spreading to adjoining, neighboring houses and to the main house,” he said. “We kept it contained to the garage.”
Heat from the fire did cause some damage to the outside of the attached home and melted siding on nearby houses, he said. Smoke from the fire and water from the sprinkler caused damage inside the house.
Schulz said the county water department and Delmarva Power both responded to turn off water and electricity to the house. No injuries were reported.
The fire stated in the interior of the attached garage and the cause remains under investigation, the fire marshal’s office said.
Damage to the structure was estimated at $120,000 and to the contents at $50,000.
From noon Friday to noon Sunday, the fire marshal’s office investigated 14 different incidents, including structure fires in Queen Anne’s, Harford and St. Mary’s counties, burn victims and general outside fires in Washington and Cecil counties.
The fire marshal’s office asks citizens to take a minute and think about fire safety:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
• Test smoke alarms every month.
• Have a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
• In case of fire, get out, and stay out!