Walter Rave, age 66, died of complications from burn injuries sustained in a house fire at 29 Holt Place, Takoma Park, Maryland. The fire occurred on December 7, 2011 at 2:00 a.m.
The fire caused approximately $300K damage to the structure and $100K to the contents.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue units arrived on the scene and found a large 2 story wood frame house with heavy fire on the front exterior with moderate extension to the interior. Mr. Rave was in the front yard.
Firefighters extinguished the fire with some difficulty due to the very large amounts of accumulated personal belongings inside the structure. Additionally, all exits other than the front door were either blocked by security bars, and an extensive amount of bamboo growth on the exterior of the home.
The victim was awakened by the fire. It is unclear how. With the front door being his only means of egress he was forced to pass through the large volume of fire on the front porch. In doing so he suffered extensive burn injuries to his body.
The fire originated in the engine compartment of a Toyota pick-up truck parked in the driveway. Radiant heat from this fire ignited either the nearby porch railing or ordinary combustibles on the porch. The fire is ruled accidental.
This is the fifth fire related death in Montgomery County in 2011.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue's Fire and Explosive Investigations Section along with Takoma Park City Police are continuing the investigation.
*Taken from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS)*