Cumberland Times-News

November 19, 2012

Couple left homeless by Cresaptown fire

Two dogs, pet guinea pig perish

Jeffrey Alderton
Cumberland Times-News

—  CRESAPTOWN —A Cresaptown couple were left homeless and lost their two dogs and pet guinea pig Sunday when fire swept through their residence at 13810 Cecil Avenue, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Dale and Amanda Clayton were at work when fire broke out in the carport of their residence, which is owned by Paul Combs Jr.

No injuries were reported in the 2:42 p.m. incident, according to Deputy Fire Marshal K. Nieberlein.

The property loss was estimated at $150,000 to the structure and $50,000 to its contents.

The fire was reportedly discovered by a neighbor, prompting alert of first-responders by the Allegany County 911 center.

Fire investigators said smoke alarms were present and operational at the time of the incident.

Seventy-five volunteer firefighters from Cresaptown, Bowling Green, LaVale, Rawlings, Ridgeley, Corriganville, Frostburg, Shaft and Short Gap responded along with LaVale and Cresaptown ambulances.

Units were on the call for more than six hours, according to the emergency center.

The Red Cross also responded Sunday. The agency provided emergency shelter and financial assistance to replace food, clothing and other necessities.

Jennifer Combs is coordinating relief assistance to assist the Claytons, both of whom are employed at Walmart in LaVale.

“They have a place to live. The church has provided the parsonage, which is vacant. But they will have to live in a motel for a week or so. Paying for that will be a huge need and gift cards would be a big help with that expense and their meals,” said Combs, Amanda’s best friend.

“They need household items of all sorts — dressers, end tables, lamps, curtains, dish towels, picture frames, dishes and glassware. Everything to make it a home,”she said.

The couple lost Bella, their 4-year-old purebred Huskie, and Nikki, their German shepherd mixed-breed that was 3 years old. They also lost their guinea pig, Dwight. “Everything else is replaceable but they lost their babies,” said Combs, referring to the pets.

Combs said the Claytons have a “good support system of family and friends.”

Anyone wishing to assist the Clayton family may contact Combs at 240-727-1098. Contributions may also be made at any M&T Bank branch where an account has been established in the name of Amanda and Dale Clayton.