Loss from Saturday's fire near Churchville put at $500,000

  • Smoke rises from a building fire Saturday on a farm in the Level area of Harford County between Churchville and Havre de Grace.
Smoke rises from a building fire Saturday on a farm in the Level… (Photo courtesy of Heather…)
September 21, 2014|ALLAN VOUGHT | AEGIS STAFF

A fire in a garage and workshop on a farm near Churchville Saturday caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to the 30-by-90 foot structure and its contents, state fire investigators said.

A preliminary investigation disclosed the fire was caused when gasoline vapors made contact with a hot engine on a zero turn lawn mower during refueling, according to a notice of investigation from the Fire Marshal's Office.

In addition to the lawn mower, a Ford F150 pickup truck and other equipment stored inside the building was damaged, investigators said. The structure damage was estimated at $300,000, loss to contents at $200,000, according to the notice of investigation.

The fire was discovered by the property owner, James Pacquette, who reported it at 11:31 a.m.

Firefighters from multiple Harford County fire companies battled the blaze on the farm in the 3400 block of Old Level Road,  in the Level community off Route 155 between Churchville and Havre de Grace.

One firefighter injury, said to be not life-threatening, was reported by the Harford County Fire & EMS Association on its media Facebook page. No additional details were available.

Units responded from Level, Aberdeen, Darlington and Bel Air volunteer fire companies, Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace and Aberdeen Proving Ground, according to monitored Harford County emergency radio dispatches.

The building where the fire occurred is behind the house on the property, which is set far back from Old Level Road.

The fire went to a second alarm when additional equipment was requested to transport water to the scene. A relay was set up from a pond on nearby Glenville Road.

A state fire marshal arrived at the scene around 12:15, by which time the Fire & EMS Association said the fire had been "knocked down." Fire units remained on the scene until mid-afternoon.


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