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Senior citizens escape fire

August 09, 1998

ROHRERSVILLE - Two senior citizens climbed out of a second-story window to escape a fire in their home early Saturday morning, the Maryland Fire Marshal's Office said.

Shortly after 1 a.m., Lester and Edna Mentzer were awakened by heat and smoke in their wood frame home at 4405 Main St., the fire marshal said.

When the couple realized there was a fire in their kitchen, they climbed onto a porch roof and down a tree, the fire marshal said.

Lester Mentzer, 73, had a minor cut on his shoulder. Edna Mentzer, 67, had minor burns on her hands. Neither was hospitalized, the fire marshal said.

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About 40 firefighters from Potomac Valley, Middletown, Boonsboro, Sharpsburg, Brunswick and the Washington County Air Unit brought the blaze under control in about 30 minutes, the fire marshal said.

The accidental fire was blamed on an electrical service wire that had been pierced by a nail, resulting in a short circuit, the fire marshal said.

The blaze started in the outside wall of the kitchen on the first floor. Damage was estimated at $25,000, the fire marshal said.

The Mentzers are staying with relatives in the Hagerstown area until repairs are made.

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