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An electrical malfunction in the heating and air-conditioning system at a Charlotte Hall business triggered an attic fire early Tuesday morning that spread to the showroom below, authorities report, resulting in a loss estimated at $1 million.

Nearly three dozen volunteer firefighters from Mechanicsville, Hughesville, Benedict and Waldorf responding to a 3:26 a.m. alarm got the blaze at Southern States under control within 15 minutes after their arrival, according to the state fire marshal’s office.

“You could see fire in the front door, in the shelving areas in the showroom,” Mechanicsville Fire Chief John Raley said of the scene that the firefighters first encountered. “It started up in the attic where the HVAC system was. It burned the insulation, and that just dropped down, ... right on the rack with all the clothes on it. It ruined all the contents they had in the showroom.”

The store’s warehouse was not affected by the fire, the fire marshal’s office reports, and no injuries were reported.

“The guys got in there and made quick work” in dousing the fire, Raley said, “and kept it from going anywhere else.”