Fire destroys apartments, causes $80,000 in damage, displaces three families

December 23, 1997

State fire marshals continue to investigate the cause of a fire that destroyed a Westminster apartment building, causing an estimated $80,000 in damage and leaving three families homeless early Saturday.

The fire began about 1: 40 a.m. in a first-floor apartment of a two-story, frame house owned by James Loschiavo that had been converted into three apartments, fire marshals said. Motorists and a private ambulance crew discovered the blaze and helped evacuate Michael Bengston and Jeanie Rehan from that apartment, as well as Chad Blair, a friend, and his toddler son from a basement unit, and Christopher Blizzard Sr. from a second-floor unit.

Firefighters from Westminster, Reese and Winfield brought the fire under control in 25 minutes.

Fire marshals said volunteers from the Red Cross assisted the displaced families.

State police arrest six on drunken-driving charges

State police from the Westminster barracks arrested six people on drunken-driving charges, made four drug arrests and issued 43 speeding tickets during Operation Holiday Cheer, an overnight traffic enforcement program conducted statewide Friday.

Fourteen of the speeding vehicles were stopped on Interstate 70 near Mount Airy between 6 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday, a state police spokesman said.

Statewide, 135 DWI arrests were made and more than 3,700 speeding citations and warnings were issued as 325 troopers and officers from 23 barracks and local police agencies saturated highways.

A $70,000 grant from the State Highway Administration paid for the detail.


Reese: Firefighters responded at 6: 52 p.m. Sunday to a woods fire in the 2400 block of Clydesdale Road. Units were out 46 minutes.

Westminster: Firefighters responded at 11: 54 p.m. Saturday to a woods fire on Gorsuch Road. Units were out 30 minutes.


Westminster: Residents of Chase Street told police Friday that someone got in their unlocked vehicles and stole property. The loss was estimated at $670.

Westminster: Officials at the Westminster firehouse on East Main Street told police Saturday that someone entered the building and tore several canvas straps. Damage was estimated at $150.

Westminster: An employee of the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Baltimore told police Sunday that someone broke into a vending machine on East Main Street and stole coins. The loss was estimated at $100.

Pub Date: 12/23/97

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