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A two-alarm fire destroyed several structures and caused a brushfire Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. at the Charles County Fairgrounds, south of La Plata.

Bel Alton resident Elliott Westberry said he heard the beginnings of the fire from his home.

“There were about five explosions that I heard. They rattled all the windows in the house,” Westberry said. “There were small popping noises in between, and this was all over about a 10-12 minute span.”

When Westberry arrived at the scene from his home, he said the flames were “about 20, 25 feet high, maybe,” and responders were already arriving at the scene.

Charles County Government Spokeswoman Crystal Hunt said the blaze affected three structures, the livestock barn and two adjacent smaller barns. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, those fires had been contained, along with the brushfire behind the barns. Hunt said the call was issued as a general call, meaning all fire units in the county responded, along with some from St. Mary’s County. Hunt said that units from Calvert and King George County in Virginia could still potentially respond if necessary.

Although fair workers live on the grounds, most were not present at the time the blaze broke out, Hunt said. Those present were accounted for and uninjured. Fairground Road was shut down to all vehicles, save for emergency responders and people whose residences are on the road.

lrenner@somdnews.com