Fire leaves family's home uninhabitable

October 22, 2004

A family of seven was forced to find temporary shelter after its Odenton home was damaged by fire yesterday morning.

Around 11:15 a.m., Anne Arundel County firefighters were called to a townhouse in the 8000 block of Monhegan Court near Fort Meade, said Division Chief John M. Scholz. The residence is home to a couple and five children, he said. Their names had not been released late yesterday.

According to Scholz, only one family member, a 13-year-old boy, was inside the house when the fire began. After hearing the smoke detector sound, the boy searched the house and found a small fire in a second-floor bedroom, Scholz said.

He tried to extinguish the blaze, but the flames grew rapidly and the child was quickly overcome by smoke. The boy fled to a neighbor's house, where he called 911, Scholz said.

It took nearly 30 firefighters about 25 minutes to control the blaze, which is estimated to have caused $100,000 in damage. After officials deemed the house uninhabitable, the Red Cross began helping the family find temporary living arrangements, Scholz said.

The homes adjacent to the burned unit suffered only minor smoke damage. Investigators believe that an unattended iron started the fire, Scholz said.

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