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Father at Bank Finds Son's House on Fire After Rushing to Scene

Clarksville townhouses destroyed.

Two people look at the townhouses destroyed by a 2-alarm fire on Monday morning. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Two people look at the townhouses destroyed by a 2-alarm fire on Monday morning. Credit: Andrew Metcalf

A two-alarm fire destroyed a section of townhouses in River Hill on Monday morning as the father of one of the residents watched.

"This is my son's home," said Dr. George Gurley, who was one of the first people at the scene on Monday. "He lost everything he owned."

Gurley said he was at a nearby bank when he saw the smoke rising in the area and thought it looked like it was coming from near his son's home.

"We called him as soon as we got here and told him his house was on fire," said Gurley. Gurley said his son, Daniel Gurley, was in Rockville at work when told the news. Gurley said his son rents the house.

There were no serious injuries reported in the fire that consumed two townhouses in the 6000 block of Blue Point Court in Clarksville, according to Assistant Chief Eric Proctor, of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. The fire department is investigating the cause of the fire.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury, but was not transported to the hospital, according to HCDFRS.

Proctor said the fire started around 11 a.m. and units responded within three minutes from the Clarksville fire station to find the second floor showing a "heavy fire."

It took about 70 firefighters 20 minutes to get the fire under control, using defensive measures, according to Proctor. He said two of the townhouses were declared uninhabitable. A total of six people were displaced by the fire, reported HCFDRS.

6048 Blue Point Circle appeared to be the most badly damaged at the scene. A housekeeper inside the adjoining townhouse at 6050 Blue Point Circle said she smelled smoke around 11 a.m. She said she stuck her head outside the window and saw the fire next door.

"I said, 'Oh my God, that's a fire,'" said the housekeeper, who then left the house and called 911.

Proctor said the residents affected will be assisted by the American Red Cross. The fire department is evaluating the amount of damage.

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