frostburg fire

Firefighters work at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

FROSTBURG — A woman who died in a Frostburg apartment fire was identified Thursday by state fire investigators.

Trina Lou Wengerd, 54, died Tuesday from smoke inhalation and thermal burns, the state medical examiner concluded.

Volunteer firefighters found Wengerd in a second-floor apartment at 316 Braddock St., where the fire started about 2:30 p.m.

Investigators believe Wengerd was sleeping on a couch in the living room and woke up to the fire, said Senior Deputy Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire of the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

Witnesses said they heard “thuds” about 10 minutes before the fire was discovered, indicating Wengerd may have fallen while searching for her cat or as she was attempting to grab a nearby portable fire extinguisher, Alkire said.

Although the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Alkire said there is “no reason to believe the fire was incendiary or an act of arson.”

“We are looking at multiple electrical sources and trying to rule out each one of those as the cause of the fire,” he said.

Three smoke alarms were found inside the apartment, but none were operable.

“One of the smoke alarms was removed from its electrical sources and two others had their batteries removed,” Alkire said.

Alkire commended the Frostburg Volunteer Fire Department for its quick response and immediate entry into the involved residence, which kept the fire from spreading to other apartments.

“They did an excellent job confining the fire,” he said.

The property loss from the fire was estimated at $105,000. Additional apartments sustained minor smoke and water damage.

Jeff Alderton is a veteran Cumberland Times-News police reporter. To reach him, call/text 304-639-6888, email jlalderton@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter.

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