Brush fire sends four to the hospital

April 20, 2004|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A five-alarm brush fire swept near the Old Mill schools complex in Millersville yesterday, sending four people to the hospital - three of whom suffered smoke inhalation in a school - before it was extinguished.

Whipped by the midday wind and fueled by dry debris, the smoky fire burned a 2-acre swath through a 4-acre patch of woods, working its way from Old Mill Road at Patriot Lane toward Crain Highway, said Anne Arundel County Fire Department Division Chief John M. Scholz.

He said it was the largest fire of its kind in the county this spring. The cause has not been determined.

The smoke caused 20 to 30 students to go to the health room at Old Mill High School, Scholz said. Most returned to their classrooms.

Two 15-year-old girls and a 40-year-old substitute teacher who reported feeling ill from the smoke were taken to North Arundel Hospital. Firefighter Richard Henry, who was suffering from exhaustion, also was taken to the hospital. Henry was treated and released, a hospital official said. No information was available about the others.

The fire was first noticed at 11:28 a.m. behind the Ruth Parker Eason Special Education Center. As it went to five alarms, units from Arundel, and from Howard and Baltimore counties arrived.

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