A heating unit used to keep stray pets warm ignited a fire Wednesday that damaged both a boat and the Joppatowne house where it was parked, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said Thursday.
The fire caused approximately $225,000 in combined damage to the boat and the residence, which is located on the 600 block of Shore Drive in Joppatowne.
According to the fire marshal, the fire began with a malfunctioning heating pad in the boat—a 22-foot Cuddy Angler.
The boat was parked in the driveway of the residence.
The report from the fire marshal said: "Owners discovered fire after smelling smoke while inside their home. Owner attempted to extinguish the fire with two kitchen style extinguishers but not before the fire extended into the home. The plant heating pad was placed in the cabin of the boat by the owners to assist in warming cats/kittens the owners rescue from the neighborhood. Owners are being assisted by friends and family."
The Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company issued a release Thursday saying "calls came pouring in" regarding the fire at 1:44 p.m. Wednesday. Aside from JMVFC, crews from Kingsville, White Marsh, Abingdon and Aberdeen Proving Ground responded.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal said about 40 firefighters controlled the blaze within 20 minutes.
A male who lives at the home was evaluated at the scene but refused further treatment, JMVFC officials said. No injuries were reported.