A fire late Friday afternoon destroyed a house in the 7600 block of Carson Ave. near North Point Road, killing at least a dozen dogs. The homeowner and her family were not home at the time of the fire, and no firefighters were injured in bringing the two-alarm blaze under control.
Flames also spread to a next-door home, melting the siding of the neighboring house, and destroying the second home's attic. The three people inside the second home were able to get out of house safely.
Mary Snyder, the owner of the home destroyed in the fire, does animal rescue, according to neighbors, taking care of lost, injured or abandoned dogs until foster owners can be found. Seven dogs living on her property are believed to have been rescued.
After the flames were extinguished, firefighters helped pull four dogs to safety from a shed in the backyard, with Snyder directing the firefighters in placing the dogs into wire kennels at the side of the home. According to Darrell Wilson, whose sister lives next door to Snyder, a neighbor behind the Snyder home was able to save three dogs before the fire grew too intense.
Once the house was cleared, workers from the Bel Air Vet Hospital arrived to take the deceased dogs away. Firefighters carried the bodies of dogs – most were in the 10-15 pound range – from the rear porch to the vet hospital’s SUV in red plastic bags. The one large dog removed is believed to have been a Rottweiler, according to Bel Air Vet Hospital staff.
Baltimore County Fire Department Battalion Chief James Devers said that the cause of the fire remained unknown, adding fire investigators were on the scene. He said the rising black smoke could be seen from the Golden Ring Mall.
“We had about 24 major pieces of apparatus and about 60 people,” called to fight the fire,” Devers said. “It had reached the second home, but were able to extinguish it pretty quickly after we arrived.”
Dever acknowledged the difficult situation at the home for firefighters.
"I have two dogs myself," he said.
Dever said neighbors called 911 after seeing smoke, altering Baltimore County firefighters, but did not know who exactly made the initial emergency call.
“We heard the helicopter first, looked out and there was smoke,” said Dina Jordan, of nearby Cypress Road. “It was all black. The sky was all black.”
“It’s a good thing nobody was home,” added Dina’s husband, George Jordan. “The flames reached over top the trees behind the house. It’s a good thing we got a fire station close to us,” he added, referring to Eastview Station No. 15 in the 1000 block of Old North Point Road.