A plant heating pad used to shelter rescued cats in a boat parked at a Joppa home ignited a blaze Wednesday afternoon which heavily damaged the structure, fire officials said.
According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the owner of a home in the 700 block of Shore Drive in Joppatowne reported the fire at approximately 1:46 p.m. Wednesday.
The home’s owner discovered the fire in the 22-foot Angler boat after they smelled smoke while inside. The owner attempted to extinguish the blaze with two kitchen fire extinguishers, but was unable to stop it from spreading to their house. A total of 40 firefighters from the Joppa-Magnolia, Abingdon, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Kingsville, and White Marsh fire companies brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes.
Investigators traced the fire to plant heating pad in the boat’s cabin which was being used to warm cats and kittens rescued by the home’s owners from the surrounding neighborhood. The pad suffered an electrical malfunction, igniting the blaze.
Damages to the home and boat were estimated at $200,000, while damages to their contents were estimated at $25,000, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Friends and family are assisting the home’s owners.