Mr. Thomas says the fire began about 6 a.m. Saturday in the apartment where Mrs. Preston, her husband, Lewis, and their four daughters lived.
A smoke detector alerted the family, Mr. Thomas says.
He says 65 firefighters from the Joppa-Magnolia, Abingdon and Aberdeen Proving Ground fire companies fought the blaze for 15 minutes to bring it under control.
The fire caused about $40,000 damage and temporarily displaced five families, Mr. Thomas says.
County police are investigating the theft of $10,000 worth of saddles and riding gear from a farm in western Howard.
Police said the theft occurred on April 7 from a farm in the 15000 block of Frederick Road. Sgt. Gary Gardner, a police spokesman, said there were no suspects in the case.
Sergeant Gardner said the equipment stolen from a storage room included 14 saddles.
Celebrity endorsements and assertions that clients won't have to pay anything if their lawyer loses will be banned in Maryland under new rules restricting legal advertising.
Lawyers also will be prohibited from advertising their win-loss records without a disclaimer that tells the audience past performance is not a guarantee of success.
The rules were approved April 8 by Maryland's highest court, the Court of Appeals, and go into effect July 1. The rules apply to television, radio and print advertising, says Janet Stidman Eveleth, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Bar Association.
Baltimore attorney Stephen L. Miles, who is known for his "Let's Talk About It" television commercials, says the regulations were prompted more by political pressure than a need for regulation.
Anne Arundel County:
A Glen Burnie man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for slitting the throat of a co-worker's father during a burglary attempt.
Bernard Albert Will, 31, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to murder. The attack left Joseph Wagner, 44, hospitalized in critical condition with numerous stab wounds, including a neck wound that stretched nearly from ear to ear.
Will also was ordered yesterday to serve two 10-year sentences for robberies last October at a drugstore and a sandwich shop in Glen Burnie. He will serve those sentences concurrently with the sentence for the assault on Mr. Wagner, according to court records.
Police responding to a report of a stabbing about 11:30 a.m. last Oct. 30 found Mr. Wagner lying in the yard in front of his home in the 100 block of Herbert Court in the Sun Valley community of Glen Burnie. Mr. Wagner, bleeding profusely from numerous stab wounds, told police, "The guy my son brought home last night tried to rob me. His name was Will."
Police said Will apparently entered the home to steal money. He turned himself in to police the following day and was charged with the assault and the other robberies.