Fire damages motel rooms

December 18, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A mother and son were injured and the family's cat died Thursday morning in a fire at the Roselawn Motel, 2347 Molly Pitcher Highway.

Donna Barbour and her 31/2-year-old son Matthew were taken to Chambersburg Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, according to Franklin Fire Company Assistant Chief Denny L. Clopper. The mother also was treated for burns to her feet, he said.

The husband and father, John Barbour, was not in the motel room at the time of the fire, Clopper said.

Donna Barbour apparently tried to put the 9:36 a.m. fire out herself, he said.

A resident of the motel alerted the manager, who lives in the center of the stone complex and called 911. The manager also called the owner, Gary Patel of Gettysburg, Pa.


The family was evacuated by a fire policeman from the Marion Fire Department before firefighters arrived, Clopper said.

Smoke could be seen from within the borough limits when the call came in, Clopper said.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, a Dodge Ram van parked in front of the Barbours' room was on fire, and flames and heavy smoke were coming from the motel room, said Jamie "Buzz" Hammond, Franklin Fire Company rescue sergeant.

Firefighters had to extinguish the van fire before they could get to the room, Hammond said.

Both fires were extinguished in about 15 minutes, he said.

The van was destroyed by the fire and a black Mercury Lynx passenger car that was parked in a carport beside the room also was damaged, Clopper said.

It was not known who owned the vehicles, he said.

Two rooms in the motel were severely damaged by fire and three others sustained smoke and heat damage, Clopper said.

Only two of the five damaged rooms were occupied, he said.

The Barbour family and another resident were relocated to other rooms at the motel, Clopper said.

The fire is under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal's office.

The cause and origin of the fire were undetermined Thursday, Clopper said.

Patel said the motel is insured.

Traffic on U.S. 11 was rerouted onto Loop Road and Kriner Road for almost two hours.

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