Investigation Underway Following Fatal Fire

An investigation is underway after a house fire on Bedford Road in Cumberland claimed the life of an elderly male.

According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office the first 911 call was received at 5:49 a.m when a neighbor observed smoke and flames coming from the home. Coincidentally this was the same time a female occupant and daughter of the victim was alerted to the fire as well. The female observed heavy smoke coming from the victim’s bedroom and attempted to extinguish the fire but quickly became overwhelmed with smoke and exited the home. Firefighters with Bedford Road Volunteer fFire Department arrived on the scene and attempted to enter the home twice to rescue the victim but were unsuccessful due to heavy fire conditions. Cumberland Fire Department and multiple nearby fire companies responded to the two-alarm fire. It took approximately fifty firefighters and three hours to control the fire, with the home eventually collapsing. Excavators were requested to the scene to assist with debris removal in order to recover the victim. The victim has preliminarily been identified as a 71-year-old male. The victim will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine the exact cause of death and where he will be positively identified.

Deputy State Fire Marshals have concluded the fire originated in the victim’s bedroom, and while the cause remains under investigation, smoking while on home oxygen can not be ruled out. Investigators determined smoke alarms were present and activated.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal was assisted by the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division and C3I. This is a standard operating procedure when a fatal fire occurs.