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Three injured in RV fire

January 22, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Three New York people were seriously burned Tuesday night when the recreational vehicle they were traveling in burst into flames in the Shoney's Restaurant parking lot on King Street, officials said.

Michael Pennucci, 72, of Herkimer, N.Y., his 72-year-old wife Rosmond and 54-year-old Grace Wells of Mohawk, N.Y., suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns in the accident.

They were taken to City Hospital near Martinsburg and then flown to Washington Hospital Center. Their conditions were not available Tuesday night.

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The victims were traveling from Florida to New York when they decided to stop at the Shoney's Restaurant just off Interstate 81 to eat, officials said.

When they pulled the 1978 Concord camper into the Shoney's lot it stalled, said Martinsburg Fire Capt. David Brining. The vehicle then drifted to the lower part of the parking lot, Brining said.

Officials believe Wells' husband, who was also traveling in the vehicle, was trying to get the motor home started by pouring gas in the carburetor when the vehicle caught fire, Brining said.

Numerous bystanders rushed to the vehicle to help extinguish the fire and rescue the three motorists trapped inside, officials said.

One person pulled a victim through a back window and Martinsburg firefighters rescued the other two people from the vehicle, said Brining.

Three bystanders who helped put out the fire were treated and released from City Hospital for smoke inhalation and burns, Brining said.

Martinsburg City Police Patrolman Glenn Macher said one of the people would have been killed had bystanders and city firefighters not acted as quickly as they did.

Employees from Shoneys, a Sheetz convenience store and a Burger King restaurant rushed to the scene with fire extinguishers to help put out the fire, Macher said.

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