Accidents claimed the lives of three people in Charles County between Sunday and Wednesday last week, and a fire in a Waldorf town house displaced three families, authorities said.

Matthew C. Eaton, 17, of Welcome, was using a tractor and an auger to work on fencing at his family's farm on Greer Farm Lane on Wednesday afternoon when he apparently became entangled, first in the fence and then in the machinery, police said.

The device cut Eaton, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the Charles County sheriff's office said.

About 10:26 p.m. Sunday, Joseph A. Arnold, 33, of Prince Frederick, died after his vehicle left Woodville Road in Waldorf, struck three trees and ignited with Arnold still inside, the sheriff's office said.

Claude T. Houck, 81, of La Plata, was struck by a vehicle and killed Wednesday while retrieving a newspaper at his Ripley Road home, the sheriff's office said. Officials said Alyessa D. Kirby, 18, of Glen Burnie, was driving the northbound Honda Civic that struck Houck about 6:49 a.m.

A fire that started in a chimney about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday caused $185,000 in damage but no injuries in the 4900 block of Savoy Place in Waldorf, said the state fire marshal's office.

One unit sustained a burned attic, and two units had smoke and water damage, the fire marshal's office said. Thirty-seven firefighters from Waldorf, Westlake, Hughesville, Brandywine and Accokeek needed just 10 minutes to control the fire once they were called, the fire marshal's office said.

The Red Cross was helping the three displaced families.