Discarded cigarette blamed in Funkstown house fire

March 01, 2001

Discarded cigarette blamed in Funkstown house fire


photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Fire on Maple StreetFUNKSTOWN - A small A-frame house was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning after an improperly extinguished cigarette ignited the living room, fire investigators said.

State Fire Marshal Bruce Shafer said the 9:15 a.m. blaze was accidental.

"I thought I put it out," said owner Cathy Hensen Beard, 45, of 8 W. Maple St. "Then I went out in the kitchen to do dishes."

Realizing a fire had begun, she said, she tried to extinguish the fire with a metal box full of water but was unsuccessful.


Not having a phone, she ran about one block to the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co.

The wooden frame house, which is about 12 feet across and 30 feet deep, was quickly engulfed in fire. Smoke could be seen from more than a mile away.

"Everything I've got is gone," Hensen said while sitting at the Funkstown fire station, where she went after being interviewed by the fire marshal.

Beard's hand was burned but she refused treatment, Shafer said.

Shortly after firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring from the house and flames were licking the roof.

"We had a lot of fire," said Funkstown Fire Department Lt. Paul Hottinger.

After firefighters got the fire under control, a few went in to ventilate the house with axes.

About 30 firefighters from Funkstown and Halfway responded, Hottinger said.

Shafer said the house was a loss and that the American Red Cross was aiding Beard.

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