Victims of 3-house blaze find temporary lodging

November 09, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Some of the 15 residents who were forced out of three brick rowhouses in Westminster by a two-alarm fire early Sunday have found temporary lodging with family members while others have been placed in motels.

Several have contacted the Department of Health and Human Services for long-term assistance, said Scott Knox, assistant director of Emergency Services of Central Maryland.

Mr. Knox said the American Red Cross is assisting some of them with temporary housing, food and clothing.

The fire started at 103 John St. and spread to 105 and 107 John St.

More than 50 firefighters worked nearly 90 minutes to bring it under control.

Fire officials said the blaze started when an electric space heater, placed too close to a lamp, ignited the fixture and spread flames from the first-floor living room of Thomas and Wanda Raver to two adjoining homes on John Street.

Officials said the family was awakened about 6:20 a.m. by the cries of the Ravers' 22-month-old daughter, one of four children sleeping on the first floor to conserve energy by using the space heater.

Moments later, the smoke detectors sounded, officials said.

The adult Ravers and a neighbor, Virginia Mitten, 71, were taken to Carroll County General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. All were released Sunday. None of the firefighters was injured, according to officials.

Engines from Westminster, Pleasant Valley, Reese, New Windsor, Manchester and Winfield responded to the blaze and were on the scene more than four hours.

The blaze caused property damage totaling about $55,000 to the three houses, said Bob Thomas, chief deputy state fire marshal.

Grace Lutheran Church, in the first block of Carroll St., will be the collection center for clothing and small articles donated for the displaced families, Mr. Knox said. Clothing and supplies for children ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years are needed.

Anyone wishing to donate furniture or appliances is asked to call Grace Lutheran Church, 848-7020, or the Red Cross, 848-4334.

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