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August 06, 1997

Child playing with fire burns apartment

HANCOCK - Fire damaged an apartment building on Quaker Creek Drive Wednesday morning, temporarily displacing a family, according to fire officials and the state fire marshal's office.

The fire, which broke out just before 10:30 a.m., started in the second-floor bedroom of one of the eight units in the Quaker Creek Apartments, officials said. The fire was started by a child playing with a lighter, according to the state fire marshal's office.

Deputy Chief Brian Reed, of the Hancock Volunteer Fire Co., said firefighters contained the blaze to the bedroom and put it out in about 15 minutes.

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The fire marshal's office said the occupant, Jeannie Payne, tried to put the flames out with a fire extinguisher but could not. The building was evacuated and the maintenance supervisor was able to hold back the flames with two fire extinguishers until firefighters arrived.

Payne and her three children stayed with a friend Wednesday night, Reed said. The state fire marshal's office said the American Red Cross was assisting the family with clothing and other needs. Reed said the family's clothes were destroyed in the fire.

Reed said the apartment sustained heat and smoke damage. Officials estimated the total damage at about $1,500.

Fast thief steals attorney's wallet

An opportunistic thief struck so quickly Wednesday that Hagerstown attorney Roger Schlossberg did not even realize he had been victimized, authorities said.

Schlossberg, of Schlossberg & Associates, left his wallet on his dashboard outside his downtown office to place a note on someone's car, Hagerstown City Police Sgt. Steve Bussard said. When he returned about 15 seconds later, the wallet was gone Bussard said.

But Bussard added that Schlossberg did not realize his wallet was missing until police contacted him Wednesday evening to inform him that a passerby had discovered his credit cards in the street.

The wallet and the money inside are gone, Bussard said.

Rubble piles burn

Three piles of burning rubble kept firefighters from the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co. busy for about an hour and a half Wednesday night, authorities said.

Firefighter Tasha Metz said the piles of rubber and metal caught fire at about 7:30 p.m. near a shredder at Conservit Inc., a recycling company on Early Drive.

Metz said the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion.

Two women hurt in one-car accident

FREDERICK, Md. - A Buick Lesabre Wednesday traveled over the roadway into the median and then collided with the guardrail and overturned on Interstate 270 after the driver possibly fell asleep, Maryland State Police said.

Janice Moore Kirk, 71, of Frederick, was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital where she was in BLANK condition Wednesday night.

Kathryn Speaker Moore, 80, a passenger in the car, was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She was listed in good condition Wednesday night.

The accident occurred at about 3:20 p.m. in the northbound lane of I-270 at Md. 85. The driver told authorities that she may have fallen asleep, police said.

Kirk was charged with reckless driving, police said.

Pickup truck stolen

A pickup truck was reported stolen early Wednesday morning and then found later in the day damaged and abandoned in a parking lot on U.S. 40, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The gray 1987 Ford F-150 4-by-4 was taken from the driveway of a home in the 21000 block of Mount Aetna Road between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, deputies said.

It was found in the parking lot of Antique Cross Roads on U.S. 40. The vehicle's interior was damaged, deputies said.

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