Carroll Digest


August 19, 2004

Man accidentally starts house fire with torch

A Sykesville man using a propane torch to strip paint from a house accidentally started a fire that caused about $10,000 in damage, a spokesman for the Sykesville volunteer Fire Department said yesterday.

Edward Burroughs of the 7000 block of Springfield Ave. was working on a scaffold outside a second-floor window Tuesday afternoon when his torch ignited a wooden window frame, officials said. Although he tried to douse the fire with an extinguisher, flames shot up the window and into the eaves before spreading to the third-floor attic. His girlfriend, Sharon Kremm, the owner of the house, called 911.

Firefighters from the Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department, assisted by units from Gamber, Winfield and West Friendship, arrived to find smoke coming from the attic. They cut a 4-by-4-foot hole in the ceiling to ventilate the room, which allowed firefighters to extinguish the fire within 10 minutes.

Fire and heat damaged the attic, and the first and second floors of the house also sustained water and smoke damage.

Sykesville fire company spokesman Bill Rehkopf advises against using torches to strip paint.

Chamber panel to provide update on Route 140 plans

The transportation committee of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting to update residents on potential improvements to Route 140 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 16 at Westminster Church of Christ auditorium, Route 97 north at Lamb Drive (one mile north of Airport Drive).

The purpose of the meeting is to:

Update local business representatives and others about the findings of the Maryland State Highway Administration and Federal Highway Administration Project Planning Study for improvements to the Route 140 corridor in Carroll County.

Have SHA displays available for review.

Provide a forum for public comment on the final proposals under consideration for this project, which extends approximately 2.5 miles along Route 140 from Market Street/Old Baltimore Road to Sullivan Road.

Present the official position of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce with regard to improvements to Route 140 and the creation of a Westminster bypass.

The meeting is free, but registration is required by Sept. 14.

Seats may be reserved online from the Calendar of Events page at, or by phone at 410-848-9050.

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