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Resh Road fire traced to heating blanket

Blaze displaces Washington County family

February 09, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • The scene of a house fire Tuesday night at 13048 Resh Road in Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

HUYETTS — An electrical fire in a heating blanket is believed to have caused a fire that displaced a family from its Washington County home Tuesday evening, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office said.

The fire, which was reported at about 6:20 p.m. at 13048 Resh Road near Huyetts, took 75 firefighters about one hour to control, according to a fire marshal’s office press release.

The fire caused about $170,000 in damages to the structure and $30,000 to the contents, the Fire Marshal’s Office said.


"It's uninhabitable at this point," Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said Tuesday night.

Resident Kenneth Mohr said Tuesday that he was down the street when the fire started, and that his 9-year-old twin sons, Matthew and Antonio, were the only ones in the house.

Both boys made it out of the single-story ranch house, but Antonio Mohr had to be taken to Meritus Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation, Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said Tuesday.

A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday morning that Antonio Mohr no longer was in the emergency room.

Firefighters from Maugansville, Williamsport, Halfway, Clear Spring, Longmeadow, Fairplay, Funkstown and Hagerstown were among the companies that responded to the scene.

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The first call for the fire was received by Washington County 911 dispatchers at about 6:17 p.m., a supervisor said.  Four hours later, rescuers were still working at the scene of the fire that was being fanned by a strong, cold wind.

As Ernst briefed the family on the situation, the scene was a mix of ash, smoke, and ice. Firefighters trudged through the slowly icing streams of water. They made their way into the house through a charred wall and threw blackened items out of the front window.

Dani Bush, a next-door neighbor, said she called 911 when she saw the flames and smoke billowing out of the Mohr's house.

"We could see the flames coming out of the side very strong," she said "So we went across the street and stayed there because the flames were so strong we thought they were going to come through the windows."

Rebecca Mohr, 18, said her family lost their pet birds and a number of valuables in the blaze.

"The only thing valuable that I wanted to get was my real dad's shirt," she said. "He passed away when I was 2 (years old) and that was the only thing I had of his, but, of course, things happen."

However, the most important thing to Kenneth Mohr was his family was saved, he said.

"They (the boys) were upset that we lost the house but I told them, 'It's only sticks and bricks,'" he said. "I could care less about the house."

Mohr said his family has lived on Resh Road for almost eight years.

Looking at what remained of his home, he said his plan was to get his family to a hotel for the night.

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