2-alarm fire burns barn on Route 31

Volunteer units also battle other blazes in Carroll and Frederick counties

August 13, 1999|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A child playing with matches caused a two-alarm fire that destroyed a century-old barn yesterday afternoon on New Windsor Road (Route 31) near Edgewood, just over the Carroll line in Frederick County, authorities said.

The owner, Julie Steele, suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns on her foot and hand when she opened a door to the burning barn, authorities said. Her son Timothy and daughter Brittny also suffered smoke inhalation.

The three refused to seek treatment at a hospital, said Deputy Fire Marshal Mark Bilger.

"The son, Timothy, 15, came into the house and said the barn was on fire, and the mother called 911," said Bilger.

The loss was estimated at $50,000.

Firefighters arrived about 2 p.m. Units responded from Union Bridge, New Windsor, Mount Airy, Winfield, and Libertytown, Walkersville and Woodsboro in Frederick County.

Union Bridge Fire Chief Bob Bloom said firefighters took water from a pond on Toll Road south of the site and from Sams Creek to the north.

"We had no problem getting water," Bloom said.

The barn had been used for storage and was mostly empty, Bloom said.

The top of the barn stood blackened and smoking as firefighters wet hot spots for 90 minutes. Charred timbers crashed to the floor where firefighters had been spraying water on stubborn flames.

The lower part of the barn was cinder block, with a small addition to the north side. Sheets of metal roofing drooped to the floor, and firefighters pulled pieces off, throwing them to the blackened ground behind the barn while checking for more hot spots.

During the fire, New Windsor Road, which was crowded with equipment, was blocked.

Several other fires occurred in Carroll and Frederick counties.

Many of the Frederick County units left the blaze for a brush fire on Talbot Run Road, a few miles away in Unionville.

That fire burned about 25 acres of field, brush and part of a Christmas tree farm, said Frederick County dispatcher Chris Stahley. The call went out at 2: 08 p.m. and was equivalent to a two-alarm fire.

"They called for a brush truck task force to give them trucks to go into the area," Stahley said. "They also had about five tankers on the scene."

Firefighters had the fire contained by 4: 30 p.m.

Firefighters also responded to a one-alarm house fire in Jefferson that was contained in an hour, Stahley said.

In south Carroll County, firefighters fought a two-alarm fire that destroyed a farmhouse early yesterday on Bartholow Road.

Late Wednesday, a two-alarm fire destroyed a former general store in Brunswick.

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