Two-alarm fire destroys home in Westminster

No one injured

cause traced to faulty heater

February 03, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A two-alarm fire destroyed a modest Westminster ranch house yesterday as firefighters from eight volunteer companies overcame heavy flames, thick smoke and snow-covered hydrants to control the blaze in about 40 minutes, fire officials said.

The occupants of the house in the first block of S. Center St. were not home when the fire broke out at 2: 06 p.m., apparently started by a faulty kerosene heater in the basement, said Jay Wallace, assistant chief of Westminster Fire Engine & Hose Company No. 1.

Wallace said heavy flames and smoke were compounded by first reports from neighbors that someone might be trapped in the vinyl-sided wood and masonry house.

Wallace ordered an aggressive attack so firefighters could get inside to search for possible victims.

Snow covering hydrants hampered firefighters, said Wallace, who added that he asked residents to uncover hydrants near their homes.

About 50 firefighters from Reese, Manchester, Pleasant Valley, Hampstead, Gamber, New Windsor and Winfield assisted Westminster.

No one was injured, Wallace said.

Red Cross officials were helping relocate displaced residents, who were not immediately identified, he said.

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