Fire marshal investigating Bay View fires
Occurred just a few hundred feet apart
— The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal is investigating a pair of fires near North East Tuesday that happened hours and doors apart.
Firefighters were called first to 386 Old
Bayview Road at about 5 a.m. on Tuesday and then hours later, responded to another fire at about 10:30 a.m. a few doors down at 370 Old Bayview Road. No one was injured in either fire.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Howard Ewing declined to say Tuesday afternoon if there was any connection between the two.
“It is yet to be determined,” Ewing said. “I’m not even going to speculate.”
While both fires are still under investigation, Ewing said the damage from the first fire has been estimated at $60,000 while the second was worse at $100,000.
The fire at 386 Old Bayview Road was caused when a street sweeper connected to a battery charger caught fire and spread to the adjoining house, according to Deputy Fire
Marshal Oliver Alkire.
The family was on vacation, Alkire said, but the tenant of an apartment above the garage saw the flames just before 4:30 a.m. and called 911.
Six hours later, firefighters were back, responding to a fire at 370 Old Bayview Road, which is the parsonage of Shelemiah United Methodist Church.
“All the occupants were home but they escaped,” Alkire said, adding that the family dog was also safe.
That single family home is approximately 350 feet from the site of the first fire.
Alkire and his K9 Kachina were called to the scene to aid in the investigation.
“We conducted an accelerant scan,” Alkire said, adding “that’s under investigation.”
Karen Ware, a member of Shelemiah, said the Rev. Sherwood McGrath and his family lost everything in the parsonage fire.
“It doesn’t look like it can be repaired,” she said.