No one is injured in fire that heavily damages house

March 19, 2002

A fire at a home in Sykesville heavily damaged the wooden structure yesterday but no one was injured, authorities said.

Michael Keefer Jr. of the 7300 block of Gaither Road told investigators he smelled natural gas about 6 a.m. but could not find its source. About five minutes later, he heard an explosion in the basement, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Ted Meminger. The Keefer youth and his parents escaped without injury.

Fifty firefighters from volunteer companies in Sykesville, West Friendship, Gamber, Mount Airy and Winfield took about four hours to control the blaze in the one-story house, which sustained about $150,000 damage after the first floor collapsed into the basement, he said.

The fire began in the basement, but nothing was wrong with the furnace or the gas line to the house, Meminger said. A line to the kitchen stove appears to have been the source of the problem, he said.

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