Fire Marshal: Smoke detectors saved Joppa couple

Joppa House Fire 20180303A Joppa couple managed to escape from their burning home after being awakened by smoke detectors on Saturday.

Deputy State Fire Marshals credit the life-saving devices for allowing the  husband & wife to escape the blaze.

The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal says the occupants were in bed and awoke to the sound of their smoke alarms early on Saturday morning.

They quickly discovered a fire in the basement of their home on Timber Lane.


The couple attempted to put out the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and all-purpose baking flour, but the flames quickly spread beyond their control.

Both were able to escape but their two cats died in the fire.

It took crews from multiple fire companies about an hour to extinguish the blaze.

The home and all contents were considered a complete loss by investigators.

Friends and the Red Cross are assisting while the couple is displaced.

Crews respond to overnight apartment fire in Joppa

Joppa Apartment Fire 20180112
Photo via JMVFC

Fire personnel responded to an apartment fire in Joppa early on Friday morning.

It marked the fourth local dwelling fire in six days, and the second in two days along Trimble Road.

At just after 2 a.m., firefighters responded to a call for smoke coming from an apartment in the 300 block of Trimble Road in Joppa. Units from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire & Emergency Services, Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company, and Abingdon Fire Company responded to the scene.


At the scene, crews found smoke showing from the front and side of a three-story apartment building. Firefighters went into the building to search for the source. Fire was discovered in the ceiling area of a top floor apartment. Additional resources were requested which brought The Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company.

Crews worked together to uncover and extinguish all of the fire. The blazr was extinguished by 3 a.m. The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal was called to determine the cause and origin of the fire, which is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters from multiple companies also responded to a house fire on Trimble Road early on Thursday morning.  Officials say an arson investigation is ongoing in that case.

Overnight house fire in Joppa draws response from multiple fire companies

House Fire Joppa 20180111
Photo via JMVFC

Crews from several local fire companies responded to a house fire in the Joppa area early Thursday morning.

At just after 2 a.m., firefighters from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire & Emergency Services, Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, and White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company responded to the 400 block of Trimble Road.

At the scene, crews found a fire on the front porch of the residence.  Additional units were then summoned from the Abingdon Fire Company.


Firefighters took hoses inside the home and aggressively attacked the fire. It took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control. The occupants were not home at the time of the fire as the house is currently being renovated.

No injuries were reported.

The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal reports that the fire is being investigated as arson.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Northeast Regional Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-836-4844.

Maryland smoke detector law 2018: requirements and what you need to know

Smoke DetectorThe Baltimore County Fire Department says it has heard from many residents with questions about Maryland’s new smoke alarm law, which was signed in 2013 but includes some requirements that just took effect on January 1, 2018.

The following fact sheet will clarify the regulation and what it means for residents of the state of Maryland.

What the law requires now

  • Replacement of battery-only smoke alarms with new, 10-year smoke alarms with sealed batteries and a “hush” feature (to silence the alarm temporarily during cooking).
  • Replacement of hardwired devices more than 10 years old. Hardwired devices newer than 10 years still are acceptable.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices. You cannot replace a hard-wired alarm with a battery-only alarm.

What the law requires in the future

  • The law requires replacement of ALL smoke alarms — hard-wired and battery-only — when they are 10 years old. That means 10 years from the date of manufacture printed on on the back of the alarm. If you can’t find a date, your smoke alarm needs to be replaced.
  • Smoke alarms lose their operational sensitivity after 10 years.
  • Hard-wired devices must be replaced with hard-wired devices.

What brand of alarm should I buy?

  • BCoFD does not endorse one manufacturer over another.
  • Smoke alarms are available at most home supply and “big box” retail stores and at many online retailers.
  • Alarms should comply with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 217, “Standard for Safety for Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarm.”

Maryland Smoke Alarm Law and PlacementtWhat about rental properties?

  • The new law applies to rental properties.
  • However, the new requirements do not impact individuals in the County’s rental registration program because the County’s rental registration provisions do not permit battery-operated smoke detector units and require hard-wired smoke detectors.


  • The local fire code does not grant right of entry into privately-owned single- and multi-family dwellings.

Purpose of the law

  • The law was designed to achieve the most reliable smoke alarm coverage possible in older dwellings without requiring homeowners to run new wiring.
  • The law’s overall purpose is reduction of fire deaths and injuries.
  • Studies of residential fire fatalities show that more than half of smoke alarms in these incidents failed to sound because the 9-volt battery had been removed. The sealed battery requirement eliminates that problem.

Placement of smoke alarms

Playground fire reported in Joppa

Crews are on the scene of a fire at a playground in Joppa.

At just after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, firefighters responded to the 200 block of Chell Road, 21085.

At the scene, emergency personnel found playground equipment that was on fire.

The Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company has responded to the scene and is requesting assistance from the Maryland State Fire Marshall as well as from Harford County Parks & Recreation.

There has been no word on any injuries.