EDGEWOOD, Md. — It's been one week since three people died in an Edgewood home during a fire. Now, there are flowers, balloons and crosses outside the home on Simons Court.
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The Public Information Officer for the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Emily Witty, said they are still investigating the cause and working to see if the property manager had any code violations for this home. She said they expect to have more information on the code violations by the end of the week. Witty explained determining a code violation comes down to home many people were living in the home that are related to each other, how many exits are in the home and how many smoke detectors are in the home.
Nine people lived in the home at the time of the fire.
"Typically it’s three bedroom homes," said Howard Marshall, a neighbor. He added, "the average household has four or five people in it. It’s not set up to hold eight people like that one did."
Thursday, the Harford County Sheriff's Office released names of two of the victims. Marshall said he knew one of them, Ernest Lee. He knew him as the house manager. He said, "we spoke all the time. We always talked about my bikes, me and my brother's bikes. He was a good guy. It’s sad that it happened to him."
Kimberly Shupe was another victim.
"Kim was set in her ways, and she didn’t wanna go nowhere, and, being on disability, she really didn’t have a choice," said Brenda Parks-Sanders, Shupe's best friend for the last 40 years. She added, "me and Kim were pretty much sisters. We raised our boys together."
Now, she can't believe Shupe is gone. She said, "they say it’s supposed to get easier, but it doesn’t, it doesn’t at all."
Police didn't name the third victim, but neighbors say she went by Dee. That name was listed on one of the three crosses that now sit in front of the damaged home.
As family members wait for answers, they are working to take care of their loved ones. Parks-Sanders said Shupe's family can't afford to get her cremated. So she set up a Go Fund Me account for anyone who is willing to help. If you want to help, click here.
If you would like to help Lee's family, click here.