Snake blamed in apartment blaze

January 18, 1994

A Hampstead apartment building sustained $10,000 of fire damage Saturday evening because of a snake, said Bob Thomas, Maryland deputy chief fire marshal.

Mr. Thomas said Gerald Allen of Hampstead left his apartment for a weekend visit to Buffalo, N.Y. Before leaving, the man turned up the heat in his apartment and turned on a broiler-oven to keep a pet snake warm while he was away.

Extreme heat from the oven apparently ignited wood paneling near the kitchen stove of the apartment in the 4000 block of Gill Ave., the spokesman said.

The fire was discovered by a neighbor. Units from Hampstead, Manchester, Westminster, Lineboro and Arcadia of Baltimore County responded to the blaze.

Firefighters remained on the scene for more than two hours while checking for hot spots in the building's walls.

Mr. Thomas said he had no details on the condition of the snake.


* Lineboro: Lineboro, Manchester, Hampstead and Pleasant Hill, Pa., firefighters responded to a house fire on Main Street in Lineboro on Sunday. Units were out for 19 minutes.

* Hampstead: Firefighters from Hampstead, Manchester and Arcadia responded to a trailer fire on Fairmount Avenue at 6:49 p.m. Sunday. Units were out for 25 minutes.

Engines from Hampstead assisted Baltimore County in fighting a chimney fire on Dobbs Road at 9:17 p.m. Saturday. They were out for 55 minutes.

Firefighters from Hampstead and Arcadia in Baltimore County responded to the 1100 block of Emory Church Road when hay, pulled from a barn fire there Thursday night, re-ignited at 5:20 p.m. Friday. Units were out for one hour.

* Manchester: Manchester, Lineboro and Hampstead responded for a reported propane leak on Main Street at 2:12 p.m. Monday. Units were out for 13 minutes.

Manchester responded to investigate a kerosene heater on Main Street at 7:16 a.m. Monday. Units were out for 12 minutes.

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