A pair of children playing with a lighter without adult supervision are being blamed for a fire that destroyed an Aberdeen home and killed two family pets on Tuesday.
Just before 7:15 pm on Thursday, emergency personnel were dispatched to the 4800 block of Philadelphia Road in Aberdeen for a report of a fire in a one-story, single family dwelling. A neighbor discovered the fire, which originated on the rear porch.
The occupants and their two children moved in on Friday. The occupants left approximately one hour prior to the fire to run errands. Investigators determined, and was later confirmed after two 5-year-old (neighbors) confessed, that children playing with a lighter ignited two trash bags on the rear porch.
Forty firefighters from the Abingdon Fire Company responded to the single-alarm blaze and had it under control within 30 minutes. There were no injuries to any of the occupants, however, one family dog and a bird perished as a result of the fire. The home and its entire contents were considered a complete loss. Red Cross and Harford County Disaster Assistance are assisting the family.
The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $100,000 in damage to the structure and another $100,000 to its contents.