A malfunction in a refrigerator compressor apparently ignited the two-alarm fire that caused $90,000 damage to a three-story apartment building in Ellicott City's historic district last week, said Deputy Chief Al Ward, of the state Fire Marshal's Office.
A neighbor reported the fire at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday in the wood-frame building in the8500 block of Main St., fire officials said.
The top floors were heavily damaged by smoke and the first floor received water damage, fire officials said.
No one was injured.
A resident family of four was not home when the fire began. A 72-year-old woman who lived on the first floor also was away, fire officials said.
Eleven fire units and 45 service personnel brought the fire under control at 10:41 a.m., the officials said. The fire did not spread.
However, the structure received $70,000 in damages and the contents received $20,000.
The Red Cross has provided temporary shelter at a motel to the displaced residents.
3 CHARGED WITH DRUG POSSESSION
A Baltimore couple and an Ellicott City man were charged with possession of PCP earlier last week in Ellicott City.
On Wednesday, Jeffrey Lee Teal, 33, and his wife, Shirley Teal, 27, of the 2700 block of Yarnall Road in Baltimore were charged with possession of PCP, or phencyclidine hydrochloride. Jimmie R. Collins, 29, of the 3700 block of St. Paul Street in Ellicott City also was charged. Policesaid an informant reported that three people were in possession of PCP on Main Street. When an officer arrived, the three dropped severalparsley flakes laced with PCP, police said. During a search, police said they found a 1-ounce jar of liquid PCP and several other packages of PCP-laced parsley flakes.
The Teals remained in the county detention center Friday on $25,000 bond. Collins was released after posting $500 bond.
3 STUDENTS ACCUSED OF POSSESSING DRUGS
Three students at Mount Hebron High School have been charged with possession of illegal drugs after marijuana was found in their lockers, police said.
Charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia Friday were Shaun Mitchell Carnal, 18, of the 9600 block of Sparrow Courtin Ellicott City, and a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, who were charged as juveniles.
Police said that between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, the high school's principal received information that the three allegedly had drugs. He contacted police.
Police say they searched the students' lockers and found an undisclosed amount of marijuana anddrug paraphernalia. Detective Mike T. Sherman said the amount of marijuana appeared to be a small.
*Here are other crimes reported to Howard County police:
5400 block of Mad River Lane: A resident observed an intruder wearing a ski mask enter a house Wednesday. The intruder took $7 and fled. There were no signs of forced entry. The intruder was described as 5-foot-9, thin, and wearing black pants, shirt, gloves and shoes.
11200 block of Powder Run: Between 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and 6:20 a.m. Wednesday, someone tried to steal a 1987 Acura Legend.
10400 block of Waterfowl Terrace: Between 10 p.m. Monday and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, an inoperable black 1973 Kawasaki wasstolen.
10800 block of Bird Song Pass: March 29, a resident reported hearing a banging sound on a window screen and found it pushed inat 6 a.m.
10300 block of Hickory Ridge Road: March 24, someone tried to steal a 1990 Toyota SR5 4-by-4 between 12:45 a.m. and 7:36 a.m.
13000 block of Hall Shop Road: Between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6:13 a.m. Wednesday, a section of wood railing surrounding a park at Press Construction was stolen and locks to several trailers were cut or pried. Nothing was stolen and the locks were left behind.
12900 block of Hall Shop Road: Between 4 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, the wooden perimeter fence was cut at the Schooley Mill Park at Melvin C. Benhoff & Sons Paving. Padlocks on trailers also were cut, and a wrench was taken.
4200 block of V.F.W. Lane: Tuesday at 12:38 a.m. officers responded to an alarm after a window was smashed with a rock.
Maryland Avenue: Between 9:30 p.m. March 28 and 12:05 a.m. March 29, someone stole a 1988 blue Chevrolet Camaro.
10600 block of Delfield Court: Between 2 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday, a 1986 four-door blue Toyota Corolla was stolen.
9500 block of Gorman Road: March 26, a hand drill was taken from a tool chest.