U.S. Marine passing by attempts to rescue victim
ST.MARYS COUNTY, Md. (April 16, 2014) The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the St. Marys County Sheriffs Office are conducting an investigation into a fatal fire that claimed the life of Marion W. Gatton, age 81, and injured two adults during a fire at 19555 Three Notch Road in Lexington Park this afternoon.
The 1:16 p.m. one alarm blaze was brought under control within 30 minutes by nearly 55 firefighters from Bay District, Ridge, Hollywood, 2nd District, St. Leonard, 7th District, and Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Departments. First responders located the unconscious victim inside her bedroom and were not able to revive her after valiant efforts. The victims caretaker, Delores Pennington, age 47, located a fire in the kitchen and was not able to control the flames. She received burn injuries to her hands before escaping the heavy smoke.
An active-duty U.S. Marine, Jon Spindler, was in the area and tried to make entry to assist the victim inside the bedroom and received moderate smoke inhalation injuries before escaping the blaze. Both Pennington and Spindler were transported to the Medstar St. Marys Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The body of the victim was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for determination of cause of death. The cause for the fire remains under investigation at this time.