Frederick Making Changes Following Slow Response to Fatal Fire

Officials: It took Myersville volunteer firefighters more than an hour to reach a house fire three miles away

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Frederick County is considering changing some of its fire procedures after an investigation revealed two fire trucks got lost on the way to a fire that killed two young girls in January.

    One truck -- the closest to the fire -- got lost, then became stuck in a ditch, reported News4's Erika Gonzalez. A second truck initially went down the wrong road to the house. That truck corrected and responded within eight minutes.

    Delayed Response to Deadly Fire Questioned

    [DC] Delayed Response to Deadly Fire Questioned
    Frederick County is investigating why a fire crew was delayed in responding to a fire in a Myersville home that killed two young girls. (Published Friday, Apr 5, 2013)

    The bungled response was revealed by an internal review conducted by the county.

    "The only way we can look our community in the eye with this particular incident is by being willing to say that this is not our best response," said Tom Owens, director of fire and rescue services in Frederick. "And our obligation to the community is to do everything that we can after finding out these facts to correct the problem."

    Baseboard Heaters to Blame for House Fires

    [DC] Baseboard Heaters to Blame for House Fires
    The cause of two recent fires in Maryland have been identified. Drapes were too close to a baseboard heater in the case of a Myersville fire that killed two small girls. (Published Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013)

    The county is looking at ways to improve communication and how firefighters get directions.

    However, Owens and neighbors both said a faster response would not have saved 3-year-old Madigan Lillard and her 6-year-old sister Sophie.

    Benefit for Fire Victims

    [DC] Benefit Helps Family Who Lost Daughters in Fire
    The community came together Tuesday night for a fundraiser for the Lillard family. (Published Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013)

    About 75 firefighters and 40 fire and rescue units from Frederick and Washington counties responded, but the blaze moved fast and was so intense that it continued to burn for more than an hour.

    The fire began after a short in a baseboard heater set drapes on fire.

    Sisters Killed in House Fire

    [DC] Sisters Killed in House Fire
    Erika Gonzalez talks to neighbors who heard the family screaming for help as they tried to rescue their children from the burning home. (Published Friday, Feb 1, 2013)

    The two Lillard sisters died of smoke inhalation. Their parents and two other sisters, an infant and an 8-year-old, were treated at local hospitals.

    ALSO SEE:

    Two Girls Killed in Maryland Fire

    [DC] Two Girls Killed in Maryland Fire
    Two young children died in a house fire in Frederick County. News4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Saturday, Feb 2, 2013)