Gas tank spill blamed for fire on Suffolk Road

November 11, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A state fire marshal has determined that gasoline spilled from the tank of a car caused the two-alarm fire that destroyed a two-car garage and extensively damaged a home Tuesday night in the 1900 block of Suffolk Road.

Bob Thomas, the chief deputy state fire marshal, said yesterday that the gasoline was ignited by a hot kerosene space heater in the garage, where owner Douglas Goodman, 40, was working on his 1985 Ford Mustang.

The fire, which began about 7:30 p.m., quickly spread to the house and caused an estimated $100,000 damage before it was brought under control about an hour later.

Mr. Goodman and four members of his family escaped from the house and garage without injury.

Mr. Thomas said Mr. Goodman had been using the space heater to warm the unheated garage.

But Mr. Thomas said a small amount of gasoline spilled from the tank onto the garage floor, and fumes from the fuel apparently were ignited by the heater.

A 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck parked in the driveway was destroyed along with the Mustang.

Officials identified the other family members as Joanna Goodman, 40; daughter Nancy, 16; grandmother Darcus Goodman, 72; and a cousin, Allen Arnett, 40. They were given oxygen as a precaution by paramedics, but none of them required hospital treatment, fire officials said.

Mr. Thomas said the family is staying with relatives.

Firefighters from Reese, Westminster, Gamber and Reisterstown companies remained at the scene for more than three hours. Winfield's air unit was dispatched to the fire to refill air bottles used by the firefighters.

County emergency officials said 10 pieces of equipment and 40 firefighters responded to the blaze.

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