Electrical fire destroys house in Westminster

November 27, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A two-alarm fire destroyed a Westminster home yesterday morning, forcing a family of six to stay with family and friends, authorities said.

Gary and Lori Clark, of the 1000 block of Old Manchester Road, escaped unharmed with their four children from a blaze that destroyed their three-bedroom, two-story house, in which they had lived for about seven years, authorities said.

The couple's 21-year-old son discovered the fire in a closet next to his first-floor bedroom about 5 a.m. and roused his family. About 70 firefighters from 11 county volunteer fire companies responded, and the fire was contained by 6:30 a.m.

Allen R. Gosnell, deputy chief state fire marshal, said the fire started in the closet because of a faulty connection of an old extension cord with a power outlet. He estimated damages at $150,000 and said the house was "totally destroyed."

The house and the property it sits on are owned by Carroll County, said Bob Kimmel, administrative support supervisor for the county's Bureau of Facilities. He said the county bought the house and the land in the 1980s as part of plans for a Westminster bypass. The county does not intend to rebuild the house, Kimmel said, but a new house has been found for the family.

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