CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. (WMAR) — A fire has claimed the lives of two people and injured eight firefighters all while destroying four town homes in Calvert County.
It happened on Wednesday around 4:15 p.m. in the 3800 block of Gordon Stinnett Avenue in Chesapeake Beach.
Shortly after fire crews arrived on scene, at least one of the homes collapsed. Two victims, later identified as 52-year-old Wendy Welch and her 13-year-old granddaughter Stephanie Link, were unaccounted for at the time, but later found dead in the debris.
Eight North Beach Volunteer firefighters were injured while battling the blaze. Five were treated on scene. Three others sustained burns and were transported to an area hospital and later released.
Officials say the fire originated outside of the homes and later spread inside. Multiple fire departments throughout Maryland responded to assist.
Approximately seventeen people are now without a home, as it's estimated the fire caused around one million dollars in damage.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tweeted "Keeping the Chesapeake Beach community in our thoughts tonight after this terrible fire. Our prayers are with the loved ones of the victims, and we wish full and speedy recoveries for the first responders who were injured."
Officials have not yet released any information on the deceased victims.
The specific cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the State Fire Marshal's Office says they don't believe it to be suspicious.