ABERDEEN, Md. — The image captured by the Aberdeen Fire Department shows the thick smoke produced by the fire in the manufactured home on Valley Bottom Road---smoke, which signaled to the nine people inside to get out.
“They were actually up at the time of the fire,” said Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire. “One of the children smelled smoke and then they traced the smoke to the exterior of the house. Upon opening the front door, they did discover a fire on the exterior of their home.”
When Aberdeen Police arrived first on the scene, the victims were trying to fight back the flames from outside the front door with pots full of water.
Complicating the task for firefighters as they arrived---trying to account for the nine children and adults who had escaped through the front door and some back windows.
“We determined that the fire actually originated on the exterior of the home and currently the cause is under investigation,” said Alkire. “However, we can’t rule out discarded smoking material.”
While the home is a total loss, including the victims’ possessions, in the absence of any working smoke alarms, it appears they can count themselves fortunate to have survived.
“If this family was asleep, that fire could have easily spread out of control,” said Alkire. ”And we could have had a completely different outcome.”