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Kitchen fire heavily damages city house

April 10, 1999

A kitchen fire that started Saturday afternoon as a 12-year-old boy was cooking french fries resulted in "extensive damage" to a single-family home on Bethel Street in Hagerstown, said Capt. Brian Pile of the Hagerstown Fire Department.

The damage has made the home uninhabitable, he said.

The fire at 47 W. Bethel St. started about 1:14 p.m., Pile said.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the home, he said. He did not have a cost estimate for the fire damage.

Portions of Bethel and Jonathan streets were closed temporarily due to the fire.

Rather than calling the fire department, the young man tried to fight the blaze himself, Pile said. The fire department might have been able to prevent some of the damage had been called earlier, he said.

The kitchen fire went into the walls and spread into the second floor and the attic, he said.

While watching firefighters clean up after the blaze, Michael Pompey, 43, said he was out picking up a suit when the fire apparently broke out.

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Pompey said his family had lived there for about four years.

- Scott Butki

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