Pair of Pa. fires investigated

August 18, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Fires early Monday that destroyed a storage shed and barn in Guilford Township, Pa., were being investigated by a Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal.

"We don't know it's arson for sure, but it's very, very suspect," said Darrell Brechbill, president of Brechbill and Helman Construction Co. of the fire that destroyed a company storage shed.

Lt. Thomas L. Barkdoll, commander of the state police barracks in Chambersburg, said a fire marshal from Harrisburg, Pa., Trooper Terry Carberry, was called in to investigate the fires. Carberry could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

The fires occurred about five miles from each other and were reported about 20 minutes apart, according to New Franklin Volunteer Fire Co. Deputy Chief Darrell Bradnick.


Bradnick said the fire at the Brechbill and Helman site at 1007 Garber Road was called in at 2:29 a.m. It destroyed the one-story, 50-by-20-foot wooden shed and its contents.

Brechbill said the building contained metal concrete forms, conduit, insulation, siding and other materials, some of it left over from construction jobs. He did not have a dollar estimate of the damage.

"Fortunately for us, it wasn't our barn, because the barn has a lot of equipment in it," Brechbill said of another building at the site.

"It was mostly machinery, no livestock," said Hannah Wingert, whose brother Ernest owned a barn that burned down at 3233 Falling Spring Road. She said the barn contained two tractors, cornpickers and other farm machinery.

"We don't know how it started and the fire marshal didn't know what caused the fire," she said.

The barn fire was called in at 2:49 a.m., according to Bradnick. He said it was called in by someone who couldn't see it involved a structure and was originally reported as a grass fire.

When firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later, Bradnick said the 60-by-40-foot barn was engulfed in flames.

Firefighters from the Franklin, Fayetteville and Marion volunteer fire companies assisted at the scene of the shed fire, according to Bradnick. They were on the scene for about two hours, he said.

Units from the Mont Alto, Fayetteville and Franklin fire companies assisted at the barn fire, along with firefighters from Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Letterkenny Army Depot, Bradnick said.

He said no one was injured in either fire.

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