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Decorative fireplace blamed for Friday house fire near Smithsburg

April 08, 2013

SMITHSBURG — The cause of an April 5 house fire near Smithsburg has been ruled accidental, resulting from a decorative electrical fireplace malfunction, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office said Monday.

Losses in the fire at the two-story single family dwelling at 22535 Cavetown Church Road was determined to be about $35,000 — $10,000 to the building and another $25,000 to the home’s contents, according to a news release from the state fire marshal’s office news release.

Two pets — a dog and a cat — died in the fire.

Ronald May is the listed owner and occupant of the property, the fire marshal’s office said.

It took 30 firefighters about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control after it was discovered by a passerby at about 1 p.m., investigators said.

Responding emergency departments from Washington County included Smithsburg, Smithsburg EMS, Leitersburg, Mt. Aetna, Longmeadow and Community Rescue Service. Units from Waynesboro (Pa.) also responded from Franklin County, investigators said.

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