Fire damages Pa. apartments

March 31, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - One apartment was gutted and another heavily damaged by smoke in a Monday afternoon fire just east of Chambersburg in Guilford Township.

"When I came down Lincoln Way fire was blowing out the windows," Franklin Fire Chief Jeff Clopper said of the fire in the large two-story brick house at 1460 Lincoln Way East. On the second floor, firefighters shoveled charred debris and furniture from the windows of the apartment.

Fire company spokesman Denny Clopper said the fire was called in at 4:44 p.m. Jeff Clopper said the woman who lived in the gutted apartment spotted the fire as she walked to a neighbor's house behind the apartment building.

He said the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal determined the fire started in the kitchen, probably in the stove, and was accidental. Denny Clopper said the fire marshal, Trooper Skip Sydnor, would return today to investigate further.


Denny Clopper said he was not authorized to release the names of the people who were left homeless by the fire. One person lived in each of the damaged apartments and the Red Cross was contacted to assist them.

Battling the fire was complicated by the unusually high temperatures Monday. A number of firefighters were seen sitting on blankets in a parking lot next to the house with the tops of their uniforms pulled off to relieve the heat built up inside the suits.

Part of the first floor of the building is occupied by Sun Autos Used Cars. A water cooler from the office was carried outside for firefighters to drink from.

Jeff Clopper said two firefighters from his company, Tony Jones and Kevin Carmack, were taken to Chambersburg Hospital. Carmack had heat exhaustion and Jones was taken in for high blood pressure.

Both were treated and released, according to a nursing supervisor.

Denny Clopper said a number of firefighters were treated at the scene for heat-related problems.

"It's never a good day for a fire," but temperatures in the 80s made fighting the blaze harder, Jeff Clopper said.

Firefighters were rotated in and out of the building to keep them from becoming exhausted, he said.

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