Electricity was disconnected from the home the day before
CHARLES COUNTY, Md, (January 26, 2012) Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined the cause of the dwelling fire Thursday at 917 Copley Avenue in Waldorf was the result of unattended lit candles in the first floor living room of the two story, split level wood frame home.
The 7:43 a.m. one alarm fire was brought under control within fifteen minutes by approximately 25 firefighters from Waldorf, La Plata, Brandywine, BelAlton and Accokeek Volunteer Fire Departments.
Investigators say that during the incident, Ashley Thomas, 21, awoke to odd sounds occurring inside the home and upon opening her bedroom door was confronted with smoke and flames. She quickly closed the door and escaped through her second floor bedroom window and landed on the hood of the car located in the driveway.
Ms. Thomas was transported by ambulance to Civista Medical Center, where she was treated and released after receiving minor injuries received from contact with the vehicles hood. Her younger siblings; 17 year-old Tyrone Thomas and 12 year-old Darious Womack were at the bus stop when they observed smoke coming from their home.
Investigators determined the home was without electrical service after the power had been disconnected the previous day. No working smoke alarms were located during the on-scene investigation.
State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard requests all Marylanders to install, test and maintain their smoke alarms. These life saving devices can provide an early notification to escape injury and death from the ingredients of fire, stated Barnard.