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Mobile home destroyed by fire

January 14, 1998

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Mobile home destroyed by fire

HALFWAY - A child playing with matches caused a fire that destroyed a mobile home at 11125 Lakeside Drive shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The 22-month-old child started the blaze with some wooden matches, according to Lt. Wayne Boward of the Halfway Volunteer Fire Co.

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Leah Taylor was home with her son when the smoke detector went off, alerting her to the fire. She and the child escaped unharmed, Boward said.

Jeremy Taylor, a volunteer firefighter with the Longmeadow Fire Co., had just left for work, Boward said. He returned home when he learned of the fire.

When Halfway and Williamsport firefighters arrived, they found the mobile home engulfed in flames, fire officials said. The home was described as destroyed, with damage estimated at $20,000, including contents.

The Taylors were insured.

An adjacent mobile home owned by Robert and Delores Shank, sustained an estimated $5,000 in damages.

Firefighters were assisted by the Washington County Air and Rehab units, the Halfway Ambulance Co. and Deputy Maryland Fire Marshal Mac McGhee, who investigated the cause.

The Red Cross responded to the scene immediately and arranged housing and vouchers for the Taylors, Boward said.

Deputy Halfway Fire Chief Doug DeHaven said parents should keep matches and lighters away from children, storing them up high and in child-proof containers.

"Older children should also be taught that matches and lighters are tools to be used by adults, not toys to play with," DeHaven said.

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