From the Office of the State Fire Marshal:
A house fire this afternoon has claimed the life a Pylesville man. Sheldon “Sam” Deller, age 52, was killed when a fire broke out in his first floor bedroom located at 5018 West Heaps Road in Pylesville. The victim’s sister Tenea Sparks along with his mother, Janice Cross and her friend, Wilber Burnham, were able to escape the home.
The 12:41 P.M. fire caused only $200 damage to the two-story, wood frame dwelling. Deputies with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and seventeen firefighters from Norrisville, Fawn Grove and Whiteford responded to the home only to discover the fire had extinguished itself.
Deputy State Fire Marshals along with detectives from the Maryland State Police Bel Air barrack determined the victim was asleep in his bedroom while the rest of the family was on the second floor watching television. The fire began in the victim’s bedroom and investigators have further determined the victims pre-existing medical condition could have prevented him from retreating from the home.
The victim’s sister discovered heavy smoke throughout the house and alerted the rest of the family. While Burnham escaped, Sparks and Cross attempted to rescue the victim. The family’s attempts were unsuccessful and they were forced to escape the smoke filled home.
Arriving deputies with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office found the victim in his bedroom. He was removed and taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center by Norrisville Volunteer Fire Company and later pronounced dead. Although it is believed Deller died from smoke inhalation, an examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.
Deputy State Fire Marshals conducted a forensic examination of the scene and determined a fire originated in an overloaded electrical outlet. The fire smothered itself out but not before releasing heavy smoke and carbon monoxide. Due to the fire being contained to the electrical outlet the family was not displaced.
Although Norrisville Volunteer Fire Company was at the home this past Monday and placed five new smoke alarms throughout the home, the victim’s bedroom was not outfitted with one.