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Man treated for smoke-inhalation and burns after house fire

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Posted at 10:44 AM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 17:43:33-05

Images from the Joppa-Magnolia Fire Company show the magnitude of the flames as fire engulfed the duplex, sending two families scrambling to get out with their lives.
    
69-year-old Preston Hall made it out with the others before making the decision to race back inside.

"The male went in, rescued his dog and during his rescue, he actually sustained smoke inhalation and burns on his face," said Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.
    
On this day, investigators returned to the house searching for clues to what might have started the fire.
    
Members of the victim's family also sifted through the rubble in hopes of salvaging any personal items.

"The step-daughter actually discovered the fire.  She reported seeing fire inside her closet.  When they exited out of the house, however fire had already breached through the roof," said Alkire, "Right now, we're surmising that the fire originated in the attic and it actually fell through into her closet."
    
That step-daughter, Michele Esworthy, is credited with alerting everyone else to get out of the home, which had no smoke alarms.
    
The fire also spread to part of the neighbor's roof and caused extensive damage inside their home, which we're told will take months to repair.

While the owner saved his dog's life, the family's cat perished in the fire.
    
Investigators say the estimated loss of the structure and its contents at $170,000.