KINGSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A well-known family is coming to terms with the loss of their historic Baltimore County home following a two-alarm fire Wednesday evening.
The fire broke out in the 11000 block of Franklinville Road near Kingsville. Little of the home was left.
“I was very proud of the place … of this house, of this place, of this house and this farm,” owner John Von Paris said. “We all were, and when we would leave we would always make sure it looked good.”
Thursday morning, Von Paris looked out at where the house once stood. A birdhouse replica showed how it looked before the fire.
Now, there’s a hole in the skyline and a hole in his heart.
“The farm, Arcadia it’s called, became part of us, and it’s part of us today,” Von Paris said. “When we lost it, part of us went with it.
A friend who keeps a horse in the barn told the family that one moment everything looked normal and the next there was fire coming from the roof.
The family watched it burn.
Von Paris runs the family’s moving business and is used to the objects in his care having a history. But the house was more than a building; it hosted weddings, big family gatherings and was the family’s physical center.
“We were proud of it and what it stood for because there were so many great memories here,” he said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the home’s kitchen was being renovated at the time.
Two dogs were inside at the time; one died and the other is recovering at the vet.
While the home and memories are gone, what Von Paris cares about most — his family– is safe.
Von Paris said his family is overwhelmed by the support his family, friends and community members are showing.