A loyal canine died saving his owner from a two-alarm blaze which broke out in their Street home late Sunday night, fire officials said.
Andrew T. Schmidt, 79, was alone in his Boyd Road home shortly after 11:15 p.m. Sunday night when his dog Shamus alerted him to a fire which had broken out in the kitchen. According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Schmidt narrowly escaped and walked barefoot to a neighbor’s house approximately 500 yards away, who called 911.
The first fire department reported the fire had spread through much of the home, with high wind gusts accelerating the fire. According to the state fire marshal’s office, responders initially believed Schmidt was still inside the home, until he walked back up the road and confirmed that he was the only occupant of the home.
Battling high winds and wet, muddy ground, approximately 75 firefighters from eight local fire departments brought the fire under control in about 60 minutes. Damages are estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $100,000 to its contents.
Among the losses was Shamus, who did not escape the blaze. The home was not equipped with a smoke alarm.
Schmidt was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview’s Burn Center for smoke inhalation and minor burns. According to the state fire marshal’s office, he remained in critical condition at the hospital Monday afternoon.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but is expected to be determined within the next week.
Those responding to the fire included members of the Darlington, Jarrettsville, Level, Norrisville, Whiteford, Aberdeen, Bel Air, and Delta-Cardiff fire companies, as well as the Maryland State Police.