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Fires erupt across Tri-State region

March 30, 1999

Hedgesville fireBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




Firefighters were kept busy Tuesday battling at least 24 fires that erupted across the Tri-State area Tuesday, destroying a home in West Virginia, a trailer and a shed in Pennsylvania and scorching acres of grass and woodland throughout the region.

About 10 fires sparked in Pennsylvania throughout the day, while at least nine were reported in Washington County and five in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

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A burning pile of leaves blew out of control around 1 p.m. in Hedgesville, W.Va., and winds fanned a blaze that destroyed a home and scorched 4 acres of woods.

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The burning leaves touched off a fire on the back porch of a two-story home on Red Coach Drive about four miles from W.Va. 9, said Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Brett Minnick.

More than 15 emergency units from Berkeley and Morgan counties battled the blaze for about three hours.

In Franklin County, Pa., a 4:40 p.m. brush fire spread to a shed, said Marion (Pa.) Deputy Fire Chief Paul Shannon. The fire at 3514 Social Island Circle near Marion caused about $20,000 damage to the shed and its contents, which included machinery and equipment for the owner's lawn care business, Shannon said.

Washington County firefighters started their day at 10:30 a.m. with a grass fire on Rock Meadow Road, according to Washington County Fire and Rescue dispatchers.

Firefighters from Clear Spring and Williamsport spent about 30 minutes dousing the blaze that burned less than half an acre, according to Charles Mundey, assistant fire chief with Clear Spring.

About four minutes later, firefighters were called to a brush fire in a cornfield on Ailanthus Drive that burned three acres of land. Firefighters from Smithsburg and Leitersburg spent two hours putting it out.

Other fires in Washington County included:




- A field fire that kept volunteers busy at the 9000 block of Sharpsburg Pike.

- A Mulch fire that ignited at the Wal-Mart parking lot at 1:28 p.m.

-- A grass fire in the 18500 block of Maugans Avenue at 1:28 p.m.

- Separate grass fires on North Main Street and on Swinging Bridge Road, each reported at 1:37 p.m..

- A mulch fire reported at around 1:30 p.m. at the Wendy's restaurant on Wesel Boulevard.

- A field fire reported at Marsh Pike at 1:46 p.m.

In Pennsylvania, high winds contributed to a fire that damaged a mobile home in Greene Township, according to a Fayetteville (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Company report.

The 10:24 a.m. fire at 6968 Brownsville Road started as trash was being burned between two mobile homes. The report said couches outside one trailer, which was being used for storage, caught fire and spread in the trailer, causing about $1,000 in damage.

In Fulton County, Pa., a brush fire on Dublin Mills Road in Taylor Township destroyed a trailer being used for storage, Hustontown Assistant Fire Chief Mark Vinson said. The fire was reported at 12:25 p.m. and was of unknown origin, he said.

Firefighters from Hustontown worked to put out a fire on Sideling Hill Mountain Tuesday afternoon, Vinson said. Firefighters from St. Thomas in Franklin County, Robertsdale in Huntington County and Six-Mile Run in Bedford County were also on the scene of the fire in Wells Township, he said.

Mont Alto (Pa.) Fire Department responded to two fires simultaneously shortly after 11 a.m., a department spokesman said.

One of the fires scorched about 5 acres on Manheim Road while the other burned about a half-acre, he said.

Members of the Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Fire Department in Mercersburg, Pa., reported three brush fires Tuesday:




-- About 2 acres burned in a fire reported at 10:45 a.m. on Fort Loudon Road, a spokesman said.

-- About an acre burned on Mercersburg Road around noon.

-- Less than an acre of grass burned at Mercersburg Academy in a fire reported at around 2 p.m.

The Waynesboro Fire Department responded to a small grass fire behind 84 Lumber west of town.

Three brush fires were reported in Jefferson County, W.Va., and one in Berkeley County.

-- a pile of old refrigerators and other debris caught fire about 10 a.m. after a smaller fire burned out of control, according to Independent Fire Co. Chief Ed Smith.

The pile of refuse along Berryville Avenue in the Summit Point area was about 75 feet in diameter.

-- Firefighters extinguished a fire in a pile of tree limbs along Flowing Acres Road just outside of Charles Town, W.Va. A tire was being used to fuel the fire, which was reported about 10:45 a.m.

-- Fire scorched about two acres in a cornfield after a fire being used to burn rubbish spread out of control, said Smith. The fire, which started along W.Va. 9 near Cattail Road, was "running like crazy" through the field, said Smith.

-- In the Gerrardstown area in Berkeley County, about an acre of brush burned near the intersection of W.Va. 45 and Union Corner Road. The fire broke out about 1:40 p.m.

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