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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: fire

Update (February 1, 5 p.m.)

The driver of the Hyundai has been identified as Nicholaus Edward Schnalzer, 32, of the 2000 block of Inverton Road, 21222.

Original Release (January 27, 11:50 a.m.)

Just before midnight on January 26, 2018, Baltimore County Police Department’s Crash Team responded to the Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company located in the 200-block of Wise Avenue, 21222 for a motor vehicle collision. Police determined that Medic #275 was returning to the station and backing up into the building. The operator of the Medic did activate the vehicle’s emergency lights.

A 2012 Hyundai Accent traveling westbound on Wise Avenue struck Medic #275 on the rear driver’s side of the Medic. The passenger of the Hyundai was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced deceased on January 27th at 12:20a.m. The driver of the Hyundai was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. After medical treatment, the driver was charged with driving under the influence.

Two EMS providers who were inside Medic #275 at the time of the collision were also taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The deceased passenger from the Hyundai has been identified as James Franklin Pettie, III, 30, of the 1700-block of Melbourne Road, 21222. 

A three-alarm fire that destroyed one DundalkHighshire Court fire townhome Sunday and damaged two others began when a spark from a pellet stove ignited a sofa.

The fire, dispatched at 10:27 a.m. to the unit block of Highshire Court, was investigated by Baltimore County Police fire investigators.

They and BCoFD officials said this fire illustrates the importance of not placing combustible items too close to pellet and wood stoves. The U.S Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association recommend at least three feet of clearance.

One person was transported to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries sustained in the fire; at least eight residents were displaced.

The fire originated in the basement of an end-of-group townhome, where the pellet stove and sofa were located.

Fire commanders called for a second alarm at 10:46 a.m. and for a third alarm at 10:47 a.m. The building of origin was evacuated at 10:51 a.m., and the other two affected structures were evacuated at 11:21 a.m.

The fire spread across the roof to the two adjacent units.

The townhome where the fire began was destroyed. The two adjacent units were significantly damaged by fire and by overhaul required by firefighters to contain the fire.

BCoFD has heard from many residents with questions about Maryland's new smoke alarm law, which was signed in 2013 but includes some requirements that just took effect on January 1, 2018. This fact sheet is designed to clarify this regulation and what it means for you.

What the law requires now

  • Replacement of battery-only smoke alarms with new, 10-year smoke alarms with sealed batteries and a "hush" feature (to silence the alarm temporarily during cooking).
  • Replacement of hardwired devices more than 10 years old. Hardwired devices newer than 10 years still are acceptable.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices. You cannot replace a hard-wired alarm with a battery-only alarm.

What the law requires in the future

  • The law requires replacement of ALL smoke alarms -- hard-wired and battery-only -- when they are 10 years old. That means 10 years from the date of manufacture printed on on the back of the alarm. If you can't find a date, your smoke alarm needs to be replaced.
  • Smoke alarms lose their operational sensitivity after 10 years.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices.

What brand of alarm should I buy?

  • BCoFD does not endorse one manufacturer over another.
  • Smoke alarms are available at most home supply and "big box" retail stores and at many online retailers.
  • Alarms should comply with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 217, "Standard for Safety for Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarm."

What about rental properties?

  • The new law applies to rental properties.
  • However, the new requirements do not impact individuals in the County’s rental registration program because the County’s rental registration provisions do not permit battery-operated smoke detector units and require hard-wired smoke detectors.

Enforcement

  • The local fire code does not grant right of entry into privately-owned single- and multi-family dwellings.

Purpose of the law

  • The law was designed to achieve the most reliable smoke alarm coverage possible in older dwellings without requiring homeowners to run new wiring.
  • The law's overall purpose is reduction of fire deaths and injuries.
  • Studies of residential fire fatalities show that more than half of smoke alarms in these incidents failed to sound because the 9-volt battery had been removed. The sealed battery requirement eliminates that problem.

Placement of smoke alarms   Smoke alarm location

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017