Friday, August 08, 2008

Fire in Eldersburg

Sometimes you see something that really makes you thankful that your family is safe.

Last night some vicious thunderstorms rolled through southern Carroll County. After one of these brief, but heavy downpours that were accompanied by fleets of banging lightning, I loaded up the kids and headed to a friend's house to borrow a canopy for my daughter's birthday party on Saturday. While there we heard a lot (read A LOT) of sirens.

When I left I kept my eyes open for flashing lights for an accident or something. Eventually I came upon Johnsville Road, just west of Route 32. I saw heavy smoke billowing from behind Wesley Freedom Church. I immediately turned onto Johnsville and as I passed the church I realized that the smoke was coming from a group of high-density townhouses.

High-density town houses are six to eight in a group with no rear entry. On the back of these units, are six to eight abutting units. So your back wall is the back wall to someone else's house. So you basically have one way out - the front door.

As we turned onto Piney Ridge Parkway, I saw the flames flickering through the roof and into the sky. We quickly pulled into the parking lot of the church, because everyone else was. There must have been several hundred people there.

The roof had totally collapsed. The dormer to one unit was just laying in the attic. While we were there fire companies from 10 stations had come - Freedom (Sykesville), West Freedom (Howard County), Winfield, Westminster, Reese, Gamber, and Glyndon (Carroll County), and Liberty Road, Reisterstown and Franklin from Baltimore County.

Fortunately, everyone got out in time and there were no reported injuries. Unfortunately, at least 6 families were displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is helping to place these families until they can get back on their feet. The cause of the fire had not yet been determined by today's article, but it appears that it was from lightning

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