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Fire wipes out family's 11 pets in Elkton

Investigators find multiple safety hazards
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 07:59:55-05

ELKTON, Md. — Fire spread quickly through a makeshift house on Frenchtown Road in Elkton on Sunday night, and investigators say the lone occupant got out just in the nick of time.

"He woke up, determined there was a fire by smoke coming into his bedroom. He barely escaped out. He ran outside the house with singing to the top of his head," said Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.

But the man was not the only one in the house at the time of the fire.

"During the course of that, they actually discovered 11 perished dogs... that perished in the fire,” said Alkire, “The remains, as much as we could, we actually tried to recover."

It appears Delmarva had cut off the power to the structure, and the owner had been using an improperly ventilated generator for electricity for the last two years.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, there is evidence the same thing, which played a role in the original house burning down almost a decade ago, may have also sparked this one.

"There was actually a structure, a dwelling on that same property, had caught fire,” said Alkire, “The cause was determined to be a wood stove, a homemade style woodstove, and during the course of this investigation, it appears they may have moved that woodstove over into this new structure."

As if it couldn't be more primed for a fire, the house also had no working smoke alarms.