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Fire destroys milking barn

January 19, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

CLEAR SPRING - Firefighters from Maryland and Pennsylvania braved near zero-degree temperatures for about three hours Sunday morning to fight a blaze that ravaged a milking barn on a farm between Clear Spring and Maugansville, according to fire officials.

The 75-by-40-foot wood and block structure, located on the Lester Fiery property in the 15200 block of Fairview Road, was destroyed along with milking equipment and about 6,000 bales of hay and straw in the second-floor area, according to Deputy Chief Allen Ward of the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office.

Fiery's son, John Fiery Sr., discovered the fire at 6:54 a.m., Ward said.

Fiery was getting into his truck with some hired hands when he noticed flames coming out of the barn's roof, said his wife, Janis Fiery.

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Fiery rushed into the barn and released the cattle while the hired hands carried some milkers out, she said.

The barn and its remaining contents were lost, she said.

Firefighters managed to save two small buildings attached to the barn, said Mike Torsiello, assistant chief of Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co.

Damage has been estimated at $120,000, Ward said.

The fire marshals' office is still investigating the fire to determine where it started and its cause, Ward said. The initial cause appears to electrical, according to Torsiello.

Fighting the fire were volunteer fire companies from Maugansville, Clear Spring, Halfway, Longmeadow and Williamsport, and Pennsylvania fire units from Mercersburg, Greencastle and Marion, he said. Also assisting were the Washington County Emergency Air Unit, the Washington County Canteen and the Washington County Fire Police, he said.

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