Spilled kerosene starts house fire in Sykesville

March 01, 1994

Kerosene spilled on an operating unvented space heater ignited and destroyed a two-story house in Sykesville Sunday night.

Bob Thomas, Maryland deputy chief fire marshal, said the two-alarm blaze caused about $100,000 damage to the wood frame dwelling in the 700 block of Church St.

Mr. Thomas said Michael Smith, 33, son of the owner, Nancy Smith, was alone in the house about 10:40 p.m. when he tried to refuel the kerosene heater.

Mr. Thomas said that Mr. Smith accidentally spilled fuel over the heater and on the floor.

The spilled kerosene ignited and fire quickly spread from the living room throughout the house, bringing about 50 firefighters from Sykesville, Gamber, Winfield, Liberty Road and West Friendship.

Firefighters battled the blaze for about 90 minutes before bringing it under control, Mr. Thomas said.

Mr. Smith escaped the fire and no one was injured.

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