Unattended cooking is being blamed for causing a fire that destroyed a Bel Air townhouse early Thursday morning.
Just after 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, emergency personnel were dispatched to Wakefield Manor Townhomes in the 600 block of South Atwood Road in Bel Air for a reported dwelling fire in a two-story, middle of the group townhouse.
The occupant of the home fell asleep on her living room couch at approximately 11:30 p.m. and later awoke to her smoke alarm sounding, discovering a fire in the kitchen. The woman was able to wake up her children, located in their bedroom on the second floor, and escape the home. She then re-entered the home to locate her car keys and drove to the 7-Eleven located on Baltimore Pike to call 911 and report the fire.
Thirty-five firefighters from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company responded to the single-alarm blaze and had it under control within 20 minutes.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $30,000 in damage to the structure and another $10,000 in damage to its contents. No injuries were reported.
Deputy State Fire Marshals on scene unequivocally believe a working smoke alarm saved the life of the woman and her children, but stress “Get Out, Stay Out!”, of a working fire and never return inside for anything. The family is being assisted by Red Cross and family.