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Man dies in Friday morning fire

September 26, 1997

By TERRY TALBERT

Staff Writer

A man died today in an early morning fire that gutted his home at 727 Washington Avenue in Hagerstown, city fire officials said.

The man's identity was not being released this morning. Hagerstown Fire Department Chief Gary Hawbaker said the fire that appeared to have started in the kitchen. Cause of the blaze was still under investigation, he said.

Hawbaker said the man was probably dead by the time firefighters arrived on the scene two minutes after it was called in at 5:33 a.m. "We couldn't have saved him," he said. "He was found in the kitchen, in the middle of the area in which it appears the fire started."

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Hawbaker said when firefighters got to the scene, they were told that a person was trapped in the home. He said when they reached the man, he was already burned beyond recognition.

Hawbaker said two other people, believed to be the man's sister and nephew, escaped the home uninjured. He said he believes the sister may have called in the fire.

The victim lived in a double house. By the time firefighters arrived, Hawbaker said the rear of 727 Washington Ave. where the victim lived was completely involved in fire. The fire spread to the adjoining half-double at 725 Washington Ave. and to the house next door at 729 Washington Ave, he said.

Hawbaker said a woman who lived in the other half of the double escaped unharmed.

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