Man, his pets killed in Elkridge motel fire

March 13, 1994|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer

A 24-year-old man and his dog and cat died yesterday morning in a fire in an Elkridge motel room, Howard County fire officials reported.

When firefighters opened the door of a ground-floor room at Hall's Motel in the 6700 block of Washington Blvd. about 10:50 a.m., they found Michael Woods Jr. on the floor behind the door, said Sgt. Robert Wiseman, a Fire Department spokesman.

Mr. Woods was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was confined to Mr. Woods' room, but officials said they did not know where or how it started.

Officials said that Debbie Garretson, 38, of the 4300 block of Alan Drive in Baltimore tried to save Mr. Woods but was overcome by smoke.

Ms. Garretson was in fair condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center last night, officials said.

Sergeant Wiseman said the motel manager called the Fire Department when she heard a smoke detector and smelled smoke from Mr. Woods' room.

Jim Roberts, the motel owner, said that Mr. Woods had lived at the motel on and off for about two years.

Mr. Roberts said the dog was a pit bull named Twojoe.

"The dog probably tried to wake him up but he couldn't," he said.

He said Mr. Woods did maintenance and construction work.

Mr. Woods' family lives in Glen Burnie, Mr. Roberts said.

"He was a good worker and a friendly person," Mr. Roberts said.

He estimated damage to the motel room at about $15,000.

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