- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2007

Two Prince George’s County firefighters were injured yesterday when a fire destroyed the historic Linzey Mansion in Laurel.

The firefighters were treated for burns and released yesterday afternoon from Washington Hospital Center, said Maj. Chauncey Bowers, a Prince George’s fire department spokesman.

“Improperly discarded smoking materials started the fire outside the building,” Maj. Bowers said.

He said firefighters were called shortly before 7:30 a.m. to the building at 201 Washington Blvd. By that time, the building was fully engulfed by flames. The loss at the historic building, which dates back to the 1880s, was about $1 million, Maj. Bowers said.

“It was actually a beautiful Victorian building,” he said.

Employees of neighboring businesses said the fire was in “full blaze” when they arrived about 8 a.m.

“It’s old. It was being renovated. They were almost done,” said Richard Malette, 40, of Laurel Motor Sales located across the street. “It’s always been there. I grew up here.”

It was one of the oldest mansions in Laurel and had been modernized in the 1970s, said Karl Brendle, director of planning for Laurel.

The peaked, wooden, three-story mansion, painted light gray, was purchased about 1980 and converted into offices for H.T. Brown Insurance and Property Management.

“From the looks of the building, it’s a total loss,” said H.T. Brown, of Columbia, who owns the business and was told that the fire started under the front porch.

Mr. Brown said he plans to rebuild on the site for company offices but will first confer with Laurel city and historic officials to determine whether the new building should be constructed to resemble Linzey Mansion.