TANEYTOWN, Md. — Only a shell remains of the two-story house on Roop Rd. in Taneytown after flames tore through it on Saturday morning.
Michele Beall says her son and his young family were fortunate to make it out in time.
“They told me that there was a fire, and it was coming through. On their side, they opened up the door and fire came in,” said Beall, “The three of them---Zachary, Kasey and my grandson, Dylan, made it out. I thank God. I thank firefighters.”
Four other people also evacuated, but 57-year-old Jan Williams perished in the fire, which took dozens of firefighters an hour and a half to extinguish.
In the aftermath of the fire, investigators say they learned there were no working smoke alarms inside the structure.
That may have cost the people inside valuable seconds as smoke began to fill the house and they attempted to evacuate.
“Everything is gone,” said Beall, “They were lucky. They had no shoes, no wallets, no glasses. The baby was in his diaper. They’re safe. That’s all we care about.”
Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office are still trying to determine how the fire started, and the victim’s body is now at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.