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UPDATE: Investigation Continues Into Avenue Shed Fire That Killed 26-Year-Old St. Mary’s County Man

UPDATE 2/20/2024: The victim of last Friday night’s shed fire in Avenue has been identified as 26-year-old Joseph Williams Bowles, Jr. Deputy State Fire Marshals have concluded the fire originated within an 8′ x 10 shed in his parents’ backyard. While the fire remains under investigation, they have not recovered evidence that it was an act of arson and continue to explore all possible accidental causes. At around 11:00 p.m. on Friday, the owners reported their shed on fire, with their son possibly still inside. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire in under 10 minutes and confirmed a deceased victim was inside. The Office of the State Fire Marshals continues to work in collaboration with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, which is a standard operating procedure whenever a fatal fire occurs. Although smoke alarms are not required in sheds, the Office of the State Fire Marshal requests everyone to remain vigilant in installing and maintaining smoke alarms in their homes and practice fire safety, including having an escape plan. “Please take time to ensure the safety of your family and friends by maintaining these early warning life safety devices,” stated Acting State Fire Marshal Jason M. Mowbray. UPDATE 2/17/2024: […]

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