FREDERICK, MD – A dog miraculously escaped a house fire near here Monday afternoon.
Firefighters from United Steam, New Market and Spring Ridge found heavy fire showing from a two-story house on Broad Branch Way.
Crews initiated an aggressive interior attack as the fire continued to engulf the attic and second floor, explained United Assistant Chief Marc McNeal.
At one point, McNeal was unable to reach one crew from Uniteds who were on the second floor. “It was a communications issue,” he said. “They said they could hear me, but I couldn’t hear them.”
McNeal ordered firefighters to evacuate, and PAR was conducted.
After the blaze was hit with a master stream, crews were allowed back inside to attack the flames.
To the amazement of firefighters and the resident, a dog emerged from the burning rubble above the garage. “We think he was covered up by falling insulation or something. He was burned, but not badly.”
Firefighter Edie Rinehart grabbed the dog to prevent him from jumping. A hamster also was rescued.
Crews were rotated out a couple of times as the 100 degree temperatures were taking a toll. Two ambulance crews as well as a medic conducted rehab while a canteen unit responded with drinks to keep the firefighters hydrated.
Two additional engines were requested for manpower.
The homeowner told firefighters he had tossed a cigarette into the bushes in front of his house before retiring to take a nap. “He was awaken by the sound of high wind. He said he saw flames go by his window. He grabbed one dog and ran outside, and called 911 from the front yard,” the assistant chief said.
The siding on the house next door was melted by the intense fire.
Crews were on the scene for a few hours conducting overhaul.