LEONARDTOWN, Md. (May 27, 2009) - Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the cause for today's early morning fire as being accidental. The 4:33 a.m. fire at the St. Mary's County District Court Building at 23110 Leonard Hall Drive was reported as an automatic fire alarm. Firefighters from Leonardtown, 7th District, Bay District and Hollywood responded to the two-story office and court house.
Investigators determined the fire sprinkler system activated and contained the fire to one office cubicle. Deputy State Fire Marshals concluded the fire started in the public defenders office and the cause for the fire was an overheated electrical appliance. Investigators credit the activation of the fire sprinkler system in keeping the damage minimal. The fire caused an estimated $50.00 in damage.
Commenting on the blaze, State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard said, "Most fires resulting in occupant injury are the result of human involvement in ignition not the age or construction of the structure. This incident is another in a long line of examples of how fire sprinklers are the most effective means of preventing injury from fire and in helping keep damage minimal."