Officials: Witnesses say deadly fire started outside homes

CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. (AP) — Fire investigators in Maryland say witnesses reported that a blaze that killed two people, injured firefighters and destroyed several townhouses started outside, so no sprinklers or smoke alarms were activated.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office said in a statement that deputies on the scene Thursday are working to determine what started the fire that broke out Wednesday in Chesapeake Beach, approximately 55 miles (85 kilometers) south of Baltimore. Damage is estimated at $1 million.

Officials said the bodies of two people who had been trapped in a townhouse were found in the collapsed debris. The victims have not identified.

Officials say three firefighters were burned and one injured a shoulder, but all have been released from hospitals. About 17 people were displaced.

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