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Open house at fire scene set for today

July 10, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A public housing unit heavily damaged by a fire caused by a cigarette Thursday will be open to the public today to show neighbors what happens when fire strikes.

Waynesboro Fire Chief Dale Fishack said the fire occurred in a public housing unit rented to Anthony Metz, 39, of 529 Pratt Court. Neither Metz nor his son, Michael, 10, were home at the time.

Fishack said the fire started when a cigarette or cigarette ashes were dropped onto a couch. The fire was discovered by a passerby at 7:25 a.m., 11/2 hours after Metz left for work. Damage from smoke, water and fire was estimated at $30,000, he said.

The chief said firefighters will give tours of the apartment from 6 to 8 p.m. today. On Thursday night they went door-to-door in the neighborhood asking about 150 residents to come to the open house, Fishack said.

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Neighbors will learn how to prevent fires and hear safety tips from firefighters, he said.

Fishack, chief of the Waynesboro Fire Department since January, is a former Hagerstown City firefighter. He said similar open house programs have been held in Washington County, but this will be a first for Waynesboro. He also said he will run similar programs when conditions allow.

The programs can only be held when enough of a building remains after a fire.

"If it's destroyed, there's nothing left to show," he said.

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