Fire destroys Pa. garage

April 04, 1997


Staff Writer

St. THOMAS, Pa. - A mid-morning fire Friday destroyed Hampton's Garage on Mentzer Gap Road and left the owner and an employee temporarily unemployed.

John Hampton, 53, said he will have the garage rebuilt as soon as possible.

There were no injuries.

Neither Hampton nor Jim Meek, chief of the Blue Ridge Summit Fire Department, could estimate the damage to the two-bay garage at 12815 Mentzer Gap Road.

Hampton had time to remove two vehicles he was working on inside the garage and most of his tools. His two vehicle lifts were not damaged, he said.


The fire started when flames from a burning trash barrel ignited leaves near the building.

Hampton said the trash had been burning for several hours and he thought it had gone out. Instead the flames had reached some leaves on the ground that had spread under the sides of a shed attached to the rear of the main garage building.

Hampton said when he opened the door of the shed to retrieve an all-terrain vehicle and a garden tractor the flames drove him back. Both pieces of equipment were destroyed, he said.

The fire did moderate damage to Hampton's private garage near the shed, but firefighters managed to douse the flames in time to save it. Heat from the burning siding melted the seat and some lights on Hampton's prize Harley-Davidson motorcycle stored inside, he said.

Hampton said he will hire a contractor to rebuild the garage. "I built the old one myself 15 years ago, but I'm not as young as I was then," he said.

Hampton said has adequate insurance coverage.

According to Meek units, Pennsylvania units responding to the blaze included Waynesboro, Mont Alto, New Franklin, South Mountain along with a truck from Emmitsburg, Md.

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