Fire Fanned by Winds Destroys Home

3 Univ. of Maryland students escape

By John Wist
|  Saturday, Feb 19, 2011  |  Updated 10:21 AM EDT
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Fire Fanned by Winds Destroys Home

Three University of Maryland students have been displaced this morning after a fire sparked at their rental home. Firefighters say the blaze broke out around 6:00 a.m. on the 8400 block of Potomac Avenue in College Park.

"This was a very challenging set of circumstances," said Prince George's County fire spokesman Mark Brady.

Fire officials say this morning’s high winds fanned the flames and caused the fire to spread quickly beyond the home to two sheds, and caused minor damage to neighboring homes. The students who live at the home made it out safely and no injuries have been reported.

A dog kennel behind the home was also threatened by flames, but authorities said they were able to evacuate the animals without injury.

The fire also burned through a natural gas line, further fueling the flames. Firefighters say they will wait for the line to burn itself out, but have had to battles hot spots on the ground because of the gas.

Fire officials say the home was completely destroyed by the fire and estimate it caused about $400,000 in damage. A red flag warning remains in effect for many parts of our region until 9:00 p.m. A red flag warning means there is low humidity, warmer temperatures and high winds, all of which could lead to brush fires.

At least 40 neighboring homes are without gas service as a result of the fire.

Stay with NBCWashington for more updates as they become available.
 

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