A Bel Air man escaped injury in a Wednesday morning fire after he was alerted to the smoke and flames by his dog, who did not survive the blaze, fire officials said.
According to the state fire marshal’s office, the fire broke out shortly after 9:30 a.m. in the first-floor bedroom of a home on the 500 block of Pritt Lane in Bel Air. The home’s occupant was asleep in the room when a space heater ignited the bed’s coverings, spreading smoke and flame throughout the room.
The occupant was awoken by his dog, Buster, and escaped the home without injury. However, Buster himself was overcome by the smoke and did not escape.
“It is safe to say the dog alerted the occupant in just enough time to escape,” Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire said in an e-mail. “This could have easily had a different outcome. The bedroom was very small and had only one exit.”
The fire was brought under control in about 25 minutes by 35 firefighters from the Bel Air, Jarrettsville, and Fallston fire companies. Damage to the home was estimated at $25,000, and damages to its contents were estimated at $5,000.
Alkire said the homeowner’s electricity had recently been shut off, and neighbors had allowed extension cords to be run from their home to provide power. The homeowner and the occupant of the home at the time of the fire are both being assisted by the Red Cross and Harford County Disaster Assistance.