West End Market gutted by fire

March 25, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

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West End Market

No one was injured in a Tuesday morning fire that swept through the West End Market at 806 W. Washington St., gutting the first-floor store and an upstairs storeroom.

The two-alarm blaze was reported at 1:45 a.m. by a nearby resident who could see the flames, and by the market owner, Adnan M. Mustafa, who was sleeping on the second floor.

Hagerstown Battalion Chief Kingsley Poole said flames were shooting from the building when firefighters arrived. Help was summoned from Halfway, Long Meadow and Funkstown.


The Washington County Air Unit, Rehab Unit and Hagerstown Fire Police also responded.

"We were short of people at the beginning and then we had some water problems," Poole said.

At one point, three big nozzles and several hand-held hoses were trained on the fire, cutting into the volume of water available, Poole said.

Hagerstown firefighters were unable to save the market, formerly known as Key Market, but they did save the two-story building to the east.

"I did a lot of praying this morning," said Julia A. Smith, who lives downstairs at 804 W. Washington St.

Smith said she was listening to her scanner when she heard the fire call go out for the market next door.

"My three dogs started barking then and I called upstairs to tell them to get their dogs and get out," Smith said.

Poole said at one point, firefighters had four hoses on that house.

At 5:30 a.m., Smith and her neighbors were allowed to return to their homes with their pets.

Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker credited the firefighters with an outstanding job of containing the fire to the market and saving the adjoining buildings.

Hawbaker said he wasn't sure who owns the building that housed the market and the storeroom upstairs.

Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown was on the scene while the fire was raging and returned at daybreak to begin the task of determining the cause of the blaze.

"It's going to be difficult because the roof is now down into the first floor," Poole said.

Water was still being put on the fire at 7:30 a.m. to douse hot spots buried under the rubble, Poole said.

Across the street, Beverly Reeder said she was working all night and only realized there had been a fire when she came home at 7:15 a.m.

"I saw all the fire trucks out front and I couldn't drive up my street," Reeder said.

Betty Linton, who lives at 809 W. Washington St., said she was awakened by the fire trucks. "The flames were really shooting up," she said.

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