West Columbia

September 10, 1993

Propane torch starts fire at Exhibit Building

Firefighters armed with hoses and chain saws controlled a one-alarm fire that caused $8,000 damage to the Rouse Co.-owned Exhibit Building in the 10200 block of Wincopin Circle yesterday afternoon.

The fire was started by construction workers using a propane torch as they worked on the roof of the building about 2:15 p.m. yesterday. The torch ignited a wall near an area occupied by the Backstage Dance Studio.

No damage was done to the inside of the studio, and no injuries were reported.

About 20 people were evacuated from the $1.5 million building. Twenty-five firefighters and 10 pieces of equipment were at the fire, said Lt. Robert Wiseman of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

When the fire began, one of the workers pulled a fire alarm while another alerted people in the building.

By 2:53 p.m. firefighters from the Banneker, Long Reach, Ellicott City, Clarksville and Rivers Park stations had the fire under control. At 4:15 p.m., the fire was out.

POLICE LOG

* Town Center: 10200 block of Wincopin Circle: Three offices were entered after someone pried their doors between Friday and Tuesday, but nothing was taken, police said.

* Dorsey's Search: 5400 block of Tarkington Way: Someone broke into a house under construction and a nearby trailer between Friday and Tuesday, and stole a dishwasher and building supplies.

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