15-year-old girl killed during fire at Howard Co. town house

The deadly fire broke out at a town house in the 11500 block of Shell Flower Lane in Columbia at around 7:30 p.m. on March 20, 2024.(Courtesy Howard County Fire and Rescue Services)

A 15-year-old girl was killed after being trapped inside her town house when it caught fire last night in Howard County, Maryland, officials said Thursday.

Firefighters were called to a town house in the 11500 block of Shell Flower Lane in Columbia at around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Howard County Fire and Rescue Services. Officials were told that there was someone inside.

When crews arrived, they saw flames from the second floor of the home, fire officials said.

Katie Chase, 15, was dead when firefighters found her inside, Howard County police said.

Two other people were taken to the hospital for further evaluation after the fire, the fire department said. It’s unclear the extent of their possible injuries.

The fire was under control after around 20 minutes, the fire department said.

Though investigators said the fire was started accidentally in an update Thursday, they did not clarify what they believe caused the flames to ignite.

The Red Cross has been requested to help the people who lived in the townhome, the fire department said.

Here’s a map of the area where the fire broke out:

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Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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