WALDORF, Md. (May 24, 2007) - A Waldorf man was critically injured this afternoon when fire raced through his family's home in the 10800 block of Boysenberry Court. William T. Morris, age 41, suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to Civista Medical Center for treatment. The 3:14 p.m. blaze completely destroyed the home and contents valued at nearly one million dollars.
Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the fire began in the living room of the home when the victim's five-year-old son ignited draperies with a butane grill lighter. The child ran to tell his father and as interconnected smoke alarms began to sound, the father attempted to extinguish the blaze with a container of water. His attempt was unsuccessful and after returning to the room with another container of water, heat and smoke conditions forced him to escape. Realizing the family dog was still inside, Mr. Morris re-entered the home but was quickly driven out by the fire.
Over forty-five firefighters from Waldorf, La Plata, Hughesville, Bryans Road, Potomac Heights, Bel Alton, and Accokeek battled the two-alarm fire for forty-five minutes before bringing it under control. Two firefighters sustained minor burns and were transported to Civista for treatment. The injuries are not considered life threatening.
Although less than fifteen years old and equipped with working smoke alarms, the dwelling was constructed prior to a recent Charles County ordinance requiring residential fire sprinklers in newly built single-family homes. Several Maryland counties and municipalities now require these systems in newly built homes and there is no record of a fire fatality in any of these protected properties.