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Officials Believe Candles Caused Fire Inside Water Pipe

It started just before 7 p.m. Monday in the area of Picea Court and Accipiter Drive in New Market.
NEW MARKET, Md. - Authorities in Frederick County, Maryland believe candles started a freak fire inside a stormwater pipe.

It started just before 7 p.m. Monday in the area of Picea Court and Accipiter Drive in New Market.

Crews arrived to find smoke coming from a storm-water drain. The chief says they tried to flood it but that didn't work, so they went into a confined space to put it out. That's where they found candles they believe someone put down the drain while they were lit.

"It's really not a good environment to hang out in, and also playing with candles in a confined space in a dry atmosphere and in a wooded area is not good. It's not good to playing with candles out in the atmosphere this time of the year anyway," said Ben Nalborczyk, fire chief at the New Market Volunteer Fire Company.

Now the Nalborczyk says the pipe will most likely have to be replaced.

"One of the things that was noted open entry was the pipe had started to collapse, and the soil from above had come in, essentially closing off the pipe, making it inefficient for what it is designed for," Nalborczyk said.

About 30 fire, EMS, and rescue crews worked on the fire. Fortunately, no one got hurt.

There's no damage estimate at this point.
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