Fire mar­shal in­ves­ti­gat­ing Bay View fires

Oc­curred just a few hun­dred feet apart

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER & CARL HAMIL­TON

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

BAY VIEW

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.

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