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Police log

February 15, 1998

Police log

Laundry facility damaged by fire

WILLIAMSPORT - An early-morning fire caused heavy damage to a laundromat on East Salisbury Street Sunday, but firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to other businesses in the building, authorities said.

A passerby called 911 at about 4:20 a.m. to report that Hometown Laundromat at 10 E. Salisbury Street was on fire.

Firefighters arrived within two minutes to fight the blaze, which started in the ceiling area of the business, said Williamsport Fire Chief Will Ball.

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Authorities estimated the damage at between $150,000 and $200,000.

Two adjacent businesses, No Tan Lines and Tony's Pizza, sustained minor smoke damage, officials said.

A second-floor apartment, where laundromat owner Anthony Scotto lives, was not damaged.

No one was hurt in the blaze, Ball said.

An investigation by the state fire marshal's office concluded that the fire began when an electric wire in a fluorescent light fixture short-circuited, causing the fixture to overheat.

Combustible framing nearby ignited and the fire spread above the ceiling, authorities said.

Further examination by the county electrical inspector found several breeches in fire-stop partitions above the ceiling, officials said. These breeches allowed the fire to spread, accounting for the heavy damage, authorities said.

Ball said fire officials have requested that the person who made the 911 call contact the Williamsport Volunteer Fire Co. at 301-223-9500.

Electrical problem eyed in W.Va. blaze

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - No one was injured Saturday night when an upstairs hallway caught fire at 1151/2 Alabama Ave., according to a fire official.

The Martinsburg Fire Department responded to the 8:30 p.m. fire at Donald Rockwell's home, which likely resulted from an electrical problem or a short circuit, said Lt. Charles Eversole.

Damage to the home is estimated at $500, he said.

Pa. man injured when dolly hits car

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police said a Chambersburg man was injured Saturday night when his car was hit by a dolly that broke loose from a motor home.

Dennis J. Fortney, 40, was treated and released from Chambersburg Hospital following the 7 p.m. accident, according to a nursing supervisor.

The report said the accident happened on New Franklin Road in Guilford Township, police said.

George Davis, 48, of Fayetteville, was traveling east when the dolly broke loose from the 1979 Ford motor home and struck Fortney's 1989 Corsica, police said.

Teen charged with felony possession

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - Charges were beginning to mount for a juvenile after West Virginia State Police pursued a reported stolen car that was found to contain stolen firearms, police said.

State police in Berkeley County said the $7,500 worth of firearms were reported stolen on Thursday to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department.

The white Honda Prelude with Virginia registration was reported stolen on Thursday from Jefferson County, police said. It was valued at $3,000.

The identity of the juvenile was not released, but since he was not charged with being too young to drive, he is either 16 or 17 years old, according to state police in Berkeley County.

Trooper J.A. Laing from the Martinsburg state police barracks began pursuing the stolen Prelude around 1:20 p.m. eastbound on W.Va. 51, police said.

Laing chased the car to Gerrardstown, W.Va., until the Prelude's driver lost control while turning right onto Henshaw Road, police said. The car went over an embankment and landed on its top in a yard at the intersection of Henshaw Road and W.Va. 51.

The juvenile was released from City Hospital in Martinsburg after police said they took him there as a precaution.

A Berkeley County Circuit Court judge sent the juvenile to the Berkeley County Detention center, police said.

So far, Berkeley County has charged the teen with felony possession of a stolen vehicle.

Charges also are expected to be filed by the Morgan County Sheriff's Department and West Virginia State Police in Jefferson County, police said.

City man charged with hit-and-run

A motorist struck a couple of parked cars on Park Place early Sunday and collided with a house on North Jonathan Street, Hagerstown City Police said.

Michael Vincent Williamson, 23, of 19135 Woodhaven Drive in Hagerstown, was charged with DWI, hit-and-run and numerous traffic offenses, police said. He was jailed on $3,000 bond.

According to police, a vehicle hit parked cars on Park Place shortly before 4 a.m., then left the area.

A vehicle ran into a house in the 300 block of North Jonathan Street, police said.

Williamson was being held Sunday night at the Washington County Detention Center.

City man charged with possession

A Hagerstown man was charged with possession of marijuana Friday night, according to Hagerstown City Police.

David Lee Moore, 33, of 310 Buena Vista Ave., was released on personal recognizance Friday night, according to Hagerstown City Police and a Washington County District Court Commissioner.

Patrol officer Pat Moulton made the arrest Friday night on CSX property in the 600 block of South Burhans Boulevard, police said.

Man charged with indecent exposure

SANDY HOOK - A Winchester, Va., man was charged with indecent exposure Friday, according to Maryland State Police.

The suspect exposed himself to a plainclothes officer shortly before 1 p.m. on a foot trail near Weaverton Road east of Md. 67, police said.

Police were surveying the southern Washington County area in reaction to citizen complaints about illicit sexual behavior and drug activity, police said.

Conrad Johan Christianson Jr., 62, of 580 Devland Drive, was released Friday on personal recognizance, officials said.

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