House fire is ruled an accident

Habitat for Humanity built home in Columbia

December 16, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Investigators have ruled that Monday's fire, which damaged Howard County's first Habitat for Humanity house in Columbia, was an accident.

Bill Mould, a spokesman for the county Department of Fire and Rescue Services, said the fire started in the kitchen when combustible materials near a stove ignited. The fire caused extensive charring and smoke and water damage to the interior of the house, but no one was injured. Mould said the damage was estimated at $100,000.

Habitat for Humanity, a faith-based housing group, spent three years planning and eight months constructing the house. Farin and Debbie Crone, an Elkridge couple with nine children, were supposed to settle on the house today and move in tomorrow.

Debbie Crone said they have received an outpouring of support from Habitat, their church and their landlord, who will let them stay at their current home as long as they need, she said.

"What we have been told is they will rebuild it as quickly as humanly possible," Crone said.

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