Fire guts Hancock home

October 16, 1998


Orchard Ridge Road firephoto: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

HANCOCK - An unattended woodburner may have caused a fire that destroyed a three-story home Thursday morning, according to fire officials.

Lt. Todd Ruppenthal of the Hancock Fire Department said a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the home of Perry Johnston, 13420 Orchard Ridge Road. No one was home at the time of the fire, he said.

Firefighters arrived at the scene at 10:55 a.m. and worked until 3:30 p.m. to no avail, Ruppenthal said.

"It had burned for a while before we got there," he said. "It's not livable," he said.

Fires of this kind are fairly unusual, he said. Ruppenthal said the stove might have been overloaded with wood, which would have caused the blaze.


State police fire marshals Robert Hahn and James Woods said in a press release that they are still investigating the fire and the cause had not been determined.

They estimate the damages at $100,000.

No homes in the surrounding area were in danger as a result of the fire, but the woods nearby were scorched.

In addition to Hancock, fire crews from Clear Spring, Little Orleans, Needmore and Berkeley Springs, W.Va., responded. No one was injured fighting the blaze.

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