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Annapolis Home Partially Collapses in Fire

A two-alarm house fire on Coventry Place nearly turned into a tragedy when a firefighter fell through the first floor of the home into the basement.

A house fire in the 1600 block of Coventry Place in Annapolis closed surrounding streets for approximately two hours Wednesday evening while dozens of firefighters worked to put out the flames.

Anne Arundel County fire department spokesman Steve Thompson said it took more than eight fire engines and three ladder trucks at least an hour to put out the blaze, which started in the homeowner's basement sometime before 6:40 p.m. Wednesday.

 Lt. Mark Prokopchak said he was first on the scene. When he arrived, he couldn't see any indication of a fire.

"A lady came up and told me when she opened the door when she came home from work, the house was full of smoke," Prokopchak said.

He confirmed her story when he opened the door and stepped inside. Prokopchak said they quickly determined that the fire was located in the basement, and firefighters started looking for its source.

Then, the first floor suddenly caved in, and an unidentified firefighter started to fall into the basement.

"It was scary there for a little bit because we couldn't get him out," Prokopchak said. "He fell in towards the flames."

The unidentified firefighter was reportedly pulled out and he suffered no injuries. Thompson said the firefighter didn't require medical attention after the incident.

The cause of the fire and estimated damage to the home has yet to be determined.

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