Snow caused damage to buildings in White Marsh

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 06:34:07-05

The record-breaking storm isn't just causing complications on the roads, some buildings have also been buckling under the weight of the snow. Officials believe the accumulated snow may have had a role in a fire and roof collapse that destroyed two businesses in White Marsh on Sunday.

Catherine Sanoy, lives a few doors down from an auto-body shop, grocery mart, and worship center located at 10825 Philadelphia Road. She was heading outside with a shovel around noon to start the long process of digging out when she spotted something off.

“When I went out I said there's fire,” Sanoy said. “That is really thick smoke, it's right across the street, it's not very far from here, so I said let's get ready because we might need to come out.”

But within minutes, the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company was on the scene.

“Crews from the White Marsh fire station arrived almost instantly, as the station is located right across the street. When they arrived they found a building with three different businesses fully engulfed in flames,” said Baltimore County Fire Captain Julia Dillard. Two of the three businesses were thought to be complete losses, but investigators were still working to survey the damage.

She added that the three-alarm fire was gas-fed, the roof was partially collapsed, and a number of fire and rescue vehicles were on the scene when ten minutes later, just before 12:30 p.m., they got another call about an emergency situation just one mile down the road at 11154 Philadelphia Rd.

“Crews were dispatched to a porch collapse with a possible victim trapped underneath. At 12:30 p.m. when they arrived they did find an adult female who they were able to make contact with. She was trapped under a 40x16 porch,” Dillard said.

The woman was transported to Shock Trauma with non-life threatening injuries. And luckily, no one was inside the building when the fire broke out, but in both cases, weather is suspected to have played a role.

“The amount of snow on the roof could be part of the reason for the collapse, but we're not sure,” Dillard said.

The snow also complicated rescue efforts, Dillard saying, “they had difficulty initially getting equipment to the scene [of the woman entrapped], and once they were there they did have an extended rescue time.”

However, she also said they were fortunate that despite the conditions, they were equipped to handle both situations.

“Having crews respond to the porch collapse as well as the three-alarm fire right down the street did make logistics a little bit difficult, but fortunately we were able to get plenty of resources to both incidents,” Dillard said.


*** MAJOR INCIDENTS *** 3rd alarm building collapse with fire and possible people trapped. Ebenezer Rd and Philadelphia...

Posted by White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company on Sunday, January 24, 2016