image description

Fatal Fire under investigation

December 12th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Deputy State Fire Marshals are investigating the cause of a Westminster bike shop fire that led to the owner succumbing to his injuries after being rescued by firefighters. At 5:18 a.m., Westminster Fire Department and surrounding departments from Carroll, Baltimore, York, and Adams counties responded to a reported building fire at Whites Bicycles located at 12 West Main Street. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke within the building and began rescuing tenants from 10 apartments above the business. Firefighters continued their search and subsequently located the owner of the bike shop, Bradley White, 55, inside. Firefighters pulled him from the building, and EMS began CPR. He was transported to Carroll Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with the Westminster Police Department, have been working throughout the morning to determine the cause of the fire. Deputy State Fire Marshals have preliminarily determined the fire originated within the office of the bike shop. During their investigation, they discovered evidence White was living inside the business. And while the building was equipped with an automated fire sprinkler system, it was determined the office had no sprinkler coverage.  

Investigators have concluded once the fire spread from the office, the fire was extinguished by fire sprinklers, allowing the 30 tenants above the bicycle shop and the adjoining apartments above Johansson's Dining House to escape safely, and no injuries were reported. 

Most of the tenants are displaced and will be assisted by the Red Cross. Carroll County Building and Fire inspectors are assisting OSFM Fire Safety Inspectors in addressing non-related fire and safety code issues in both buildings. 

A joint investigation between the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the local police agency is a standard operating procedure for a fatal fire.