Arundel digest

June 10, 2005

Edgewater fire kills dog, damages home

A barking dog and a squawking bird helped awaken an Edgewater woman whose house had caught fire early Wednesday morning.

The woman escaped the fire. Her dog died, fire officials said.

Sheryl Gitomer, 43, returned to the single-family home on the 1600 block of Bay Ridge Road around 2 a.m., said Lt. Roy Phillips, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Gitomer lighted a kitchen stovetop to warm some food but fell asleep in another room without turning off the stove, Phillips said. Gitomer awoke about 4:30 a.m. when she heard her pets "making a racket," Phillips said. The house was on fire and full of smoke, he said.

Gitomer grabbed her bird and tried to save her dog before fleeing the burning house, Phillips said. The dog ran to the back of the house, where she was unable to get it, he said.

Twenty-six firefighters extinguished the fire. It was under control by about 5 a.m.

There was roughly $70,000 worth of structural damage and about $35,000 of damage to the contents of the house.

- Annie Linskey

Arundel High to close early because of heat

Arundel High School in Gambrills will close two hours early today because of expected high temperatures.

Arundel is the only Anne Arundel County high school without air conditioning, although county and school officials approved money for the air-conditioning project in their next budget.

The school also closed two hours early yesterday.

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