Careless smoking caused fire that killed 3 teens, official says

December 16, 2005|By RICHARD IRWIN

Careless smoking has been determined as the cause of a house fire Sunday in Keedysville that claimed the lives of three teenagers, the state fire marshal's office said yesterday.

An examination of evidence and interviews with at least two survivors showed that the 5:15 a.m. blaze at the home of Maxwell B. Hope Jr. on Mount Hebron Road in Washington County was caused by careless smoking in a second-floor bedroom, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo Jr.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Brian P. Daigle, 18, of Boonsboro and Michael L. Abell, 17, and Jonathan R. Barnes, 17, both of Sharpsburg.

The three were found dead in a bedroom.

Zurolo said no working smoke detectors were in the hallway outside the bedroom.

The state medical examiner's office in Baltimore determined that the teens died from smoke inhalation and burns, Zurolo said.

The owner of the nearly 200-year-old house, his 17-year- old son and a 15-year-old male friend escaped the fire with minor injuries.

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

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