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Fire of Sixes Road, Emmitsburg - 3/12

An two-alarm house fire occurred on Sixes Road on the evening of March 12. One resident and dog were displaced. The house was considered a total loss, with total damages estimated at $100,000.

The cause of the fire has been attributed to the chimney. Captain Kevin Fox, a spokesman for the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, said a fire was lit in the fireplace at the time the house caught on fire.

The eight units that responded were the Vigilant Hose Company, Rocky Ridge, Taneytown, Thurmont, New Midway, Graceham, Woodsboro, and Union Bridge. The Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company served as overall coordinator of the response.

Captain Fox said by the time the Vigilant Hose Company—the first company to respond—arrived on the scene, the fire was already through the roof. According to Captain Fox, it took the first responders about 2.5 hours to bring the fire under control and secure the area.

Due to the lack of a public fire water source, the eight responding companies were forced to hook together their pumper trucks that carry their firefighting water supply to provide water to the two closest trucks nearest the house, until such time Vigilant Hose Company was able to bring its hook-and-ladder unit. Drawing water from nearby Tom’s Creek, the VHC unit was able to spray 1,250 gallons of water per minute down through what remained of the roof and into the house, quickly dampening the raging flames. Shortly thereafter the fire was declared under control.

Thanks to the quick work and exceptional coordination of all eight fire companies, the farm’s bank barn, which is adjacent to the house, was not damaged, nor was the farm’s pre-Civil War slave quarter house damaged. The slave quarter dwelling is the last known slave quarter dwelling in Northern Frederick County.

The displaced resident initially received help from a nearby friend or neighbor, but then did ask the American Red Cross for assistance. According to Brittany Fowler, who is with the American Red Cross, the resident has received assistance with clothing, shoes, transportation, and a temporary residence that is pet friendly. The Red Cross is currently working with other agencies and the displaced resident to find long term housing that is pet friendly.

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