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BY PORTSIA SMITH
A Caroline County family of four was displaced this weekend after a fire damaged their home.
Caroline fire and rescue responded to a fire in the 1000 block of Swan Lane in the Lake Land'Or community in Ladysmith at 4:50 p.m. Friday.
The two-story, single family residence was occupied at the time by three children ages 14, 13 and 11, who discovered the fire early, said Fire-EMS Chief Jason Loftus.
Units from Ladysmith, Frog Level, Bowling Green and Upper Caroline volunteer fire departments responded. The first unit arrived within five minutes and found smoke coming from the front door of the home.
It took firefighters approximately 17 minutes to get the blaze under control, Loftus said.
Fire investigator Capt. Ed Bonham said the fire was accidental and appears to have started by heat from a desk lamp.
The damage to the home was primarily confined to the room of origin, but the structure was deemed unsafe until repairs can be made and inspected, Loftus said.
The Red Cross has assisted the one adult and three children who live in the home, he said.
"This incident is a prime example of how early detection by occupants and quick response by firefighters can significantly reduce the damage to a residence by fire," Loftus said.
This is the third major fire in Caroline while county supervisors are debating whether to cut or fund five firefighter-EMT positions that have been funded by federal grants, but will expire in September.
Loftus said a loss of those positions could have a major impact on response times and could leave some stations unstaffed.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419