State fire marshals investigate fatal early morning house fire in Hagerstown

Washington County

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Crews from Washington, Franklin, Frederick, and Adams counties arrived at the 14500 block of Barkdoll Rd. around 2:20 a.m., after a neighbor called 911 for reports of a fire.

According to Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire, seven occupants resided in the home. Six of those occupants were able to make it out safely without injuries. They were evaluated by EMS crews on scene and were all said to be in good condition. No transports were made for any of those individuals.

Officials have reported the death of an adult male. No further details were released about the victim’s age or name. The Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the identity and cause of death of the victim.

Investigators determined that upon exiting the home, the victim told family members he was returning to the basement in hopes of locating a family pet. He was never observed again. Firefighters located the victims body on the exterior front porch of the residence. Investigators believe he had self extricated through the basement door where he collapsed.

“The tragic incident is a heartbreaking but real example of why going back inside doesn’t guarantee you and your family will make it back out alive. Get out, stay out,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

Senior Deputy Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire stated that there were at least six cats living in the home. All are presumed to have died as a result of the fire.

Six of the seven individuals living in the home were related, including the victim. The seventh person was the victim’s boyfriend.

According to a press release from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, “Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the fire originated on the exterior front porch.”

Smoke alarms were determined to be present and activated during the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Investigators do not believe the fire was the result of a crime.

Crews brought the blaze under control within 30 minutes. Nearly 50 firefighters responded to early morning house fire.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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