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Fire destroys Mount Briar Road house

January 28, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Steven Saville lost his two-story house near Keedysville and his pet dog, Muffin, in a fire after trying to use a heater to warm frozen pipes, a Sharpsburg Fire Co. official said Tuesday.

Fire company Lt. Matt Stevens estimated the damage of the fire at 5222 Mount Briar Road at $175,000.

The call to 911 came at 12:59 p.m. Fire companies arrived at the scene about 1:15, Stevens said. The response was slower than usual because of snow and ice on the road, Stevens said.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was fully involved, Stevens said.

Saville told him he would rather the firefighters let the rest of the building burn than save just a portion of it, Stevens said.

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After Saville put a heater in a crawl space under the home to thaw frozen pipes, the home's insulation caught fire, Stevens said.

Muffin, a cross-breed who was only a few months old, died in the fire.

Saville said he tried to get in the home to rescue Muffin but was unable to do so. Saville lives at the house with his girlfriend, who was at work at the time of the fire.

Nobody was reported hurt in the fire.

Saville said he had gone to a house next door for about 15 minutes, leaving the heater on, and when he returned the house was filled with smoke.

Saville family members have owned the land, which includes another house, for about 40 years, he said.

The house that burned Tuesday was built about 1985, he said.

The family also operates a saw mill on the land.

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