Fire called suspicious

October 15, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown firefighters Tuesday found debris smoldering in a basement apartment that had been ransacked, officials said.

"The fire is definitely suspicious," Hagerstown Fire Department Capt. Brian Pile said.

Firefighters were sent to Townhouse Manor Apartments at about 6:20 p.m. to investigate an odor of smoke. Pile said firefighters began on the second floor.

"As we got down lower, it got stronger," he said.

Firefighters found heavy smoke in apartment A2 at 121 Manor Drive, Pile said. He said firefighters finished off the fire, which had mostly burned itself out. The rest of the apartment sustained smoke damage, he said.


"We kind of got here on the downswing of this," he said.

Pile said the apartment was filled with trash, overturned furniture and appeared to be missing several items. No one was home during the fire.

Several neighbors said the tenant had not lived at the apartment for about two months.

"There's a history here, we've been told," Pile said.

Julia Pellerin, who lives above the apartment, said she called the Fire Department as soon as she noticed smoke.

"Smoke was coming up from the toilet. You could see it. They almost burned my granddaughter up," she said.

Officials evacuated 22 apartments in two buildings for more than an hour. No one was hurt, officials said.

The city fire marshal's office is investigating the blaze.

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