BEL AIR — An investigation is continuing after a blaze damaged a repurposed outbuilding in Bel Air that is at least 120 years old, according to the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal.
“The structure was built in the late 1800s and was considered historic,” an MOSFM spokesperson said of the two-story building in the 100 block of East Broadway.
A passerby called 911 at 11:44 a.m. on Saturday, after noticing the burning building, and several area volunteer fire companies responded, fire officials said. Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company served as the on-scene command unit, fire officials added.
Approximately 25 volunteer firefighters battled the blaze for about 15 minutes, before bringing it under control, fire officials reported.
The blaze caused an estimated $5,000 in structural damage to the historic building, which recently had been remodeled as a wood shop, according to Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver J. Alkire, an agency detective and spokesman.
In addition, the blaze destroyed approximately $25,000 in property inside the building, which did not have smoke alarms and sprinklers, fire officials reported.
MOSFM investigators determined that the blaze started on the first floor of the building, fire officials said. While the cause of the blaze remained under investigation, as of Tuesday, investigators “cannot rule out a failure with lithium-ion batteries” that were inside the building, fire officials added.