Investigators determine cause of fire was careless smoking
HOLLYWOOD, Md. (May 23, 2009)—A house fire on Wednesday claimed the life of 68 year-old Paul T. Penrod. Mr. Penrod resided at the home along with his wife. She was not at home at the time of the fire.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the second floor bedroom areas. The 9:48 a.m. fire caused an estimated $125,000.00 in damage to the home.
Deputy State Fire Marshals learned that St Mary's County 911 Center received a call from Life Line Alarm Company advising they had received a panic alarm from the home. Approximately fifty-firefighters from Hollywood, Leonardtown and Bay District Stations 3 & 9 were dispatched to 25160 Pinto Drive.
First arriving firefighters located Penrod lying on the floor at the top of the second floor stairs. He was removed from the home and was found to be unresponsive. Firefighters began CPR while Penrod was taken to St Mary's Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
His body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore where a forensic examination was performed to determine the cause of death.
Investigators learned Penrod died as a result of smoke inhalation and thermal burns. Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the fire started on Penrod's bed and after careful examination of the scene concluded careless smoking as the cause.
There were no other injuries.
The St. Mary's Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) assisted in the investigation.