Firefighters use hoses to knock down a buckling wall at the scene of a house fire in Severn, Md. Sunday morning.
Authorities in Anne Arundel County are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a single-family home in Severn Sunday morning.
The occupants of the house were not home when the fire broke out at 1849 Estate Court about 6:30 a.m. A neighbor noticed the smoke and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had spread to the two-story home's roof and a second alarm was called, bringing a total of 45 firefighters to the scene.
A neighbor told News4's Derrick Ward that the house was built before sprinklers were required in all new homes in the county, a measure which passed the Anne Arundel council in 2009. The neighbor also said the occupants of the house were on vacation in Aruba.
Firefighters said they were unable to fight the blaze inside the house due to the intensity of the flames. The fire was declared under control about one hour after it started. By that point, only the house's outer wall was left standing. However, the wall had buckled due to the heat, and in order to make the scene safe for fire investigators, high-powered hoses were used to knock it down.
The fire department says the fire caused more than $400,000 in damages to the home. In addition, two cars in the family's garage were destroyed. No one was hurt.