A discarded cigarette ignited a couch and set an Abingdon townhouse on fire Thursday morning, but an observational neighbor’s quick call may have spared more damage to the dwelling and saved the life of one of its inhabitants.
Just before 8 a.m. on Thursday, emergency personnel were dispatched to the 100 block of Laurel Valley Court in Abingdon for a reported dwelling fire in a middle of group townhouse.
A neighbor was walking his dog when he observed smoking coming from the eaves of the home and called 911. Upon arrival of the fire department they discovered extensive fire damage to a couch with heavy smoke and soot damage throughout the home. The fire was contained to the couch.
Twenty firefighters from the Abingdon Fire Company responded and had the blaze under control within 10 minutes.
The investigation determined the occupant had left the house approximately 30 minutes prior to the fire being discovered and later admitted to investigators he was smoking prior to leaving the home.
It was initially believed a kitten had perished in the fire but it was later discovered unharmed. Harford County Animal Control transported the kitten to a local veterinarian for an emergency evaluation.
The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal estimated $80,000 in damage to the structure and another $25,000 in damage to its contents.
No injuries were reported.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office also commended the neighbor as well as the fire department observing and a quick response to contain the fire to the living room and causing minimal damage to the adjacent homes.