Flames from an unattended fireplace ignited a larger blaze in a Maryland City mobile home Tuesday afternoon, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said.
Firefighters were alerted to reported smoke and flames coming from a home in the unit block of Zona Street around 2:25 p.m. The fire was extinguished in fewer than 10 minutes. The fire was determined to be accidental, having been caused when the fire in the fireplace "extended out to the contents of the room," the Anne Arundel County Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit said.
None of the home's three adult and one child occupants were home at the time. The Red Cross is assisting them find shelter as they are displaced. Fire officials have not assessed a damage estimate yet.
Investigators noted that three bedroom doors were closed at the time of the fire, helping contain its spread and protect those rooms from fire damage, showing the importance of sleeping with bedroom doors closed at night to protect occupants and limit fire risk, the department said in a statement, a habit known as "closing before dozing."
"Fire spreads more quickly the more oxygen they have," the fire department said in a statement, "but you can slow the spread of a house fire, as well as reduce toxic smoke levels, if you keep your bedroom doors closed while you're sleeping."