South River Source: Harwood House Destroyed by Fire

By MITCHELLE STEPHENSON

April 22, 2013

The family home was completely destroyed.
A single family home was completely destroyed by the one-alarm blaze, according to Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Keith Swindle.

It took Anne Arundel County firefighters about a half hour to get a blaze in the 800 block of Conservation Lane in Harwood under control. The fire was called in from multiple sources on 911, fire department spokesman Chief Keith Swindle said on Monday. When firefighters arrived, they found a single family home fully engulfed in flames. Swindle said that it took 22 firefighters to get the blaze under control. The blaze was kept to one alarm. There was no dollar estimate on the damages available to the media, Swindle said.

Conservation Lane in Harwood is in a neighborhood of mid- 1980s single family homes, known on land records as Hawthorne Woods. Each home is situated on an acre or more. The home that burned is located in the back of this neighborhood, down an unpaved road. This home, with its 18 acres of land, had two single family homes. One dates to the 1800s and is a two-story structure unharmed by the fire. The house that burned down was built more recently. It is a total loss.

The neighborhood of Hawthorne Woods is located on the east side of of Sands Road, about a half mile south of the Harwood Road/Patuxent River Road/Sands Road intersection in Harwood.

At the house, the homeowner surveyed her loss as firefighters packed up to leave. Everything in the home was burned. There was not even a photograph that was salvageable. A family spokesman, Ellie Thompson, said they were waiting for Red Cross to arrive to help find a place for the homeowner to stay.

The heater that Anne Arundel County Fire Department officials believe started the fire.
The heater that Anne Arundel County Fire Department officials believe started the fire.

Thompson said that the homeowner came home from work on Monday afternoon—she is employed by Anne Arundel County Public Schools—and went to light her kerosene stove because it was chilly out. Something wasn’t “right,” Thompson said, and in no time the stove and the house were in flames.

The two homes and another outbuilding on the property have been handed down among generations of farmers. The Anne Arundel County Real Property search indicated that the land is still used for farming.

“She has lost everything, lost all of her clothes, her money, even her Social Security card,” Thompson said.

Swindle said that the fire was held to one alarm. There were tankers and pumpers from Riva, West Annapolis, Galesville and Arundel stations in Anne Arundel and engines from Prince Georges County. Two ladder trucks and a squad unit were also at the scene.

As a result of the fire, the family will take donations of clothing and other household items. Check back here for  updates as to where clothes, household goods and furniture can be dropped off. We’ll try to keep it up-to-date to meet the family’s needs.