A three-alarm fire, which burned through an Belcamp apartment building early Thursday morning causing an estimated $1 million in damage and displacing 15 residents, is being blamed on discarded fireplace ashes.
Just after 2:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, emergency personnel were dispatched to the 1200 block of Raven Wood Court in Belcamp for a reported fire in a three-story, 12-unit apartment building.
An occupant of a third-floor apartment unit woke up to the smell of smoke and, upon checking the source, discovered a fire on her balcony. The fire quickly spread into the attic of the building. The occupants of the apartment as well as their dog were able to escape and alert the other tenants by activating the fire alarm.
Firefighters from the Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company rescued two other occupants, but all residents were able to escape without injury. It was reported that one firefighter sustained minor injuries and transported for treatment.
Fifty firefighters from the Abingdon Fire Company, assisted by Aberdeen, Joppa-Magnolia, Bel Air, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and other departments, responded to the three-alarm blaze and had it under control within an hour.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $500,000 in damage to the structure and another $500,000 in damage to its contents.
The preliminary cause of the fire is being blamed on discarded fireplace ashes.
A total of 15 residents were displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.