Third body recovered from blaze on Shore

August 20, 2007|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter

The remains of a third victim who died in a fire at a sprawling waterfront home on the Eastern Shore were found late Saturday by investigators, who continued to sift through the rubble yesterday in search of a cause for the weekend blaze, according to the state fire marshal's office.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo Jr. said investigators found the third victim about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. He said investigators had not officially confirmed the identities of the victims or determined the fire's cause. Autopsies were scheduled for the victims at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore.

"Our next goal is to try to determine the point of origin and what caused this fire," Zurolo said. After the fire broke out about 2 a.m. Saturday, four people, including the 15-year-old daughter of the owners of the house, escaped the burning building, authorities said. Zurolo said all seven occupants had been asleep and that some were warned of the fire by working smoke alarms.

The fire gutted most of the 6,600-square-foot house on the Miles River, and fire officials estimated it caused more than $1 million in damages.

Authorities have said that the home's owners -- Matthew and Margaret Fitzgerald -- were out of town when the fire broke out.

A report in a local newspaper, the Star Democrat of Easton, identified two of the three victims as Margaret Rose "Maggie" Fitzgerald and Kennedy Fitzgerald, who were siblings and young adults.

Zurolo did not dispute the local report.

The Star Democrat said that "Maggie" Fitzgerald was president of her high school graduating class this year at Saints Peter and Paul High School in Easton. She had planned to enter the University of Massachusetts in the fall, the article stated.

Kennedy Fitzgerald was a 2005 graduate of Easton High School, the article states.

Zurolo said a makeshift memorial for the victims had been started near the home's driveway, in the 26000 block of Arcadia Shores Circle, with visitors leaving flowers and cards yesterday.

gus.sentementes @baltsun.com

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