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Fire damages home

January 06, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

An accidental fire caused about $70,000 in damage to a one-story rambler home near Cearfoss Monday morning, The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said.

Fire and rescue workers were called shortly after 10 a.m. to the home at 16922 Strawberry Knoll, about a quarter-mile off Cearfoss Pike.

According to a Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office release, the fire began in the ceiling, and was caused by an electrical problem.

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The home is owned by Gerald Pulmer, according to the Fire Marshal's Office. Neighbors said Pulmer and his wife live at the home.

The occupants were not home at the time of the blaze, fire officials said.

Firefighters found heavy smoke and flame centered around the front-left portion of the home's main floor, said Bob Daley, assistant fire chief of the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co.

Firefighters brought the fire under control within 15 minutes, but personnel remained to douse hot spots.

A hole on one side of the home exposed charred structure under the roof. On the other side, a smoldering mattress and box spring were on the ground.

Daley said the bed ignited when firefighters began ventilating the home.

"It was that hot," he said.

A neighbor on his way to the bank discovered the house fire.

Joseph Cross, 75, said he was driving down Strawberry Knoll, a gravel road, to the main street when he saw steam rising from the roof of the house.

"I just saw the steam ... there were no flames or anything when I first saw it," Cross said. Soon windows began breaking, "then I saw the flames coming real thick."

The Red Cross was assisting the residents.

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