K9 dies in vehicle fire on way to Md. prison complex

The SUV carrying two K9's caught fire as it was heading to a prison complex; officers got one dog out but couldn't save the other

Cumberland Times News

FLINTSTONE, Md. — A K9 assigned to the Cumberland state correctional complex died in a vehicle fire that occurred on westbound Interstate 68 in the area of 15 Mile Creek at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The SUV was headed to the prison complex in Cresaptown with two K-9s when it caught fire, according to Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Service spokesman Mark Vernarelli.

“The two K9 officers pulled over as soon as they realized the vehicle was on fire. They managed to get one dog out of the vehicle, but could not save the other,” Vernarelli said.

The dog that died had recently graduated from training.

“The DPSCS K9 Unit is highly regarded throughout the Mid-Atlantic area and is respected for training many law enforcement agencies throughout the region,” Vernarelli said.  “Needless to say, this is a tragedy for the officers involved, who work so closely with their dogs day in and day out.”  

Flintstone and District 16 ambulances were dispatched following earlier alerts for Flintstone and Orleans volunteer fire units to respond, according to the Allegany County 911 Emergency Center.

The incident occurred in the area of the 62-mile marker.

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