Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 30, 2013

Couple’s Potomac Park home, contents total loss

POTOMAC PARK — Samuel and Margaret Blume’s home and contents are a total loss after a fire ravaged their property at 11908 Iris Avenue on Monday afternoon.

The estimated structure loss was $85,000 and the contents were estimated at $15,000, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The family also lost two dogs in the 1:15 p.m. fire that was discovered by a passerby but firefighters were able to retrieve the family’s Bible and an urn that contained a loved one’s ashes.

The accidental fire was caused by an electrical malfunction of household wiring in the basement ceiling, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

A small fire rekindled at the two-story, wood-frame home at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. Bowling Green and Cresaptown volunteer fire departments responded, according to the Allegany County 911 center.

Diane Crowe, a carrier with the Times-News, was delivering the paper in the area when she and her husband noticed a glowing in the upstairs window of the house.

Crowe called 911 and alerted the neighbors, whose house also sustained some damage in the fire Monday, that the fire was rekindling. The neighbors, who had been checking the house most of the night for signs of rekindling, had just gone to bed before Crowe alerted them.

Once the firefighters arrived, flames began to appear, according to Crowe.

“I walked by the house 25 minutes before I called and everything was fine,” said Crowe.  

Responding to the two-alarm fire Monday were the State Fire Marshal’s Office along with the Allegany County Fire Police.

Bowling Green Volunteer Fire Department was in charge of the fire operation. Capt. Gary Uncapher told the Times-News that Ridgeley firefighter Steve Shipley discovered the white Bible, which was discolored but not charred, on the floor of a center room of the house. When Uncapher returned the Bible to the owners, they mentioned that the urn was located in the same room. Uncapher said those were the only two items that could be salvaged from that room.

Assistance was provided by LaVale, Bedford Road, Corriganville, District 16, Cresaptown, Bowman’s Addition, Frostburg, Shaft, Mount Savage, Midland, Rawlings, Ridgeley and Short Gap volunteer fire departments. A total of 55 firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in 40 minutes, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Frostburg Area Ambulance Service and LaVale Rescue Squad also responded upon alert by the Allegany County 911 center.

No injuries were reported.

The Blumes are being assisted by the local American Red Cross and family members.

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