Mount Airy fire victim’s death ruled a suicide -- Gazette.Net


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The death of a Mount Airy woman who perished in a fire at her home March 17 has been ruled a suicide by the state medical examiner.

The 56-year-old woman, who was the only victim in the fire at the house in the 12900 block of Moxton Drive, was identified through dental records by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, according to the news release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

“What the evidence is showing is that she was home alone and doused the bed [with gasoline] and set the room on fire,” said Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

However, the woman’s name was not released by the sheriff’s office under its policy of not identifying suicide victims, the release said.

The medical examiner’s office was also unable to comment on the cause of the woman’s death because her name has not been released.

Fire and rescue crews responded to the fire just before 7 p.m., after receiving reports of smoke coming from the home, according to a news release from the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services.

Rescue crews reported seeing smoke coming from the attic when they arrived at the scene.

While searching on the second floor for occupants of the house, firefighters found a woman in a closed bedroom, fire officials said.

Once inside, firefighters extinguished the blaze, the fire and rescue release said. There were working smoke alarms on the second floor.

The woman was the only person inside the house during the fire, which caused about $30,000 damage.

An official with the Frederick County Fire Investigation Task Force said it had closed out the investigation into the cause of the fire, but no information on the findings was immediately available Tuesday.

The Mount Airy woman was the third death in the county this year caused by fire.

Two sisters were killed in January, when a fast-moving house fire in Myersville. Sophie P. Lillard, 6, and Madigan G. Lillard, 3, died of smoke inhalation during the blaze, which was ruled accidental.

Investigators determined that a baseboard heater in the home’s living room caught draperies on fire, and that smoke alarms in the home were not working the night of the fire.

myoung@gazette.net