Christmas Morning House Fire Kills MD Child: Officials

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The Maryland state fire marshal said a Christmas morning fire in Elkton killed a child and left her family without a home. No working smoke alarms were found in the house, investigators said. A stock photo of firefighter gear is shown here. (Shutterstock)

Patch manager Deb Belt wrote this story.

ELKTON, MD — A Christmas morning fire in Elkton killed a child and left her family without a home, according to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Maryland State Police.

The Singerly Fire Company and surrounding departments responded about 7:30 a.m. to a house fire at 317 Willow Drive. Upon arrival, firefighters found the family standing outside the home, reporting a girl was still inside. Firefighters entered the home and found the child, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was upgraded to two alarms, bringing nearly 75 firefighters to the scene, and it took almost one hour to control.

At this time, official identification and cause of death are pending with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The victim is believed to be a 10-year-old resident of the home.

Five other family members lived in the house, including four adults and a 13-year-old.

"I, and every member of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, extend our sincere condolences to the victim's family and friends. It is a heartbreaking day for Elkton and the community of Winding Brook Village," said Acting State Fire Marshal Jason M. Mowbray in a statement.

The fire's origin and cause remain under investigation by local officials and the state fire marshal's office. So far, investigators have been unable to locate working smoke alarms in the home.

Smoke alarms have proven to be the difference between life and death in a fire emergency, authorities said.

Six people were displaced from their home by the fire and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

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