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House fire displaces 2 families

July 16, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - An early evening fire Friday left two families with children homeless and sent one man to Waynesboro Hospital for treatment of burns on his hands, an occupant of one of the apartments said.

The fire, in a two-story brick house on the corner of Grant and North streets, is believed to have started in a second floor kitchen from grease on a stove, said Cassie Baer. Baer lived in the apartment with her two sons, ages 3 and 4, and her boyfriend, Luke Fietner.

Fietner was cooking dinner for himself and the boys at the time, she said.

Eric Bishop said he and his wife and two children escaped without injury from their apartment on the Grant Street side of the building Baer said she was working at her waitress job at a nearby restaurant when the fire broke out shortly after 6 p.m.

"My boyfriend tried to put the fire out," Baer said. "He got my two children out. That's the only thing important to me."

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A spokeswoman at Waynesboro Hospital said Fietner was still being treated Friday night.

Both families said they lost everything in the blaze.

Early reports said people were trapped in the building, but all were out by the time the first units arrived.

The house is owned by Esther Orlando, Baer said. One of the apartments in the building was empty, Baer said.

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof and rafters shortly after the arrival of the first units. Firefighters had to cut through the roof with chainsaws to get to the fire, which by that time could be seen coming from several sides of the big house.

They also cut through the eaves on the west side to get to flames in insulation of the old building.

The state fire marshal was on the scene after the fire was extinguished.

The fire drew a large crowd of onlookers which kept borough police busy trying to keep back a safe distance.

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