Neigh­bors save cou­ple from fire

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

GRA­SONVILLE — Larry Cole was get­ting ready to leave for work Mon­day morn­ing, Dec. 12, when he hap­pened to glance down the cul-de­sac and see a huge burst of flames come out the front of Jim­mie and Janet Tol­son’s mo­bile home at 123 Pine Drive, Gra­sonville.

Cole said he had smelled smoke and just thought some­one was burn­ing leaves un­til he saw the flames. He ran back in­side, called for help and got his son Alex, who is a vol­un­teer with Gra­sonville Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment.

To­gether they went to try to help. They found Mrs. Tol­son in­side, near the front door. Cole said he helped her out while Alex went on

into the house to find Mr. Tol­son, who was un­con­scious on the floor.

“It was so dark and smoky, I couldn’t see any­thing,” Cole said.

Alex spot­ted Tol­son’s white socks and was able to grab and drag him out.

The emer­gency call went out at 7:03 a.m. and fire­fight­ers from Gra­sonville, Kent Is­land, United Com­mu­ni­ties, Queen­stown, and Good­will vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments and from Anne Arun­del County all re­sponded. Gra­sonville Capt. James Tier­nan was in com­mand at the fire scene.

The home was fully in­volved, and it took fire crews about an hour to put out the fire, of­fi­cials said.

The Mary­land State Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice ruled the fire to be ac­ci­den­tal, due to an elec­tri­cal prob­lem with a ceil­ing fan in the din­ing room, said Deputy Fire Mar­shal Matt Stevens. The one-story, wood-frame mo­bile home with an ad­di­tion was com­pletely de­stroyed.

Dam­ages to the struc­ture were es­ti­mated at $80,000 and $20,000 to the con­tents. There was a smoke de­tec­tor present, but it wasn’t func­tion­ing, the fire mar­shal’s of­fice re­ported.

The Tol­sons were taken by am­bu­lance to the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Eas­ton for treat­ment of smoke in­hala­tion. Both were do­ing well Tues­day af­ter­noon, said a hos­pi­tal spokes­woman. By Wed­nes­day evening, they had been re­leased from the hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to a friend of the fam­ily.

Four cats re­port­edly in the home are un­ac­counted for. Mr. Tol­son came to be­fore be­ing taken to the hos­pi­tal, and his con­cern was for his cats, Cole said. Cole went around back to try and get them out. He said he kicked in a glass door but never saw them come out, al­though he thinks they may have es­caped. He said he saw one sit­ting on top of Tol­son’s car Tues­day.

Neigh­bor Justin Davis is col­lect­ing cloth­ing for the Tol­sons, who lost ev­ery­thing. Mrs. Tol­son needs 3X tops and 20 to 22 petite pants. Mr. Tol­son needs medium shirts and size 34 pants. Both wear 9EEE (wide) shoes.

Peo­ple in­ter­ested in do­nat­ing the clothes can can con­tact Davis by mes­sag­ing him on Facebook or call­ing him at 410-829-2821.

Edi­tor An­gela Price also con­trib­uted to this re­port.

PHOTO BY JUSTIN DAVIS

A 7 a.m. fire de­stroyed a trailer home in Gra­sonville Mon­day, Dec. 12.

PHOTO BY JUSTIN DAVIS

A 7 a.m. fire de­stroyed a trailer home in Gra­sonville Mon­day, Dec. 12.

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