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Fire ruled arson

September 01, 2000

Fire ruled arson



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


A fire that damaged an apartment building and displaced 14 people has been declared arson by a Hagerstown Fire Department assistant fire marshal.

The fire at 424 N. Locust St. broke out around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in the third-floor apartment of Anthony Grove, said Assistant Fire Marshal John Hersh, in a press release.

Grove was not home at the time of the fire, officials said Tuesday.

In the press release Hersh said he was continuing his investigation.

A secretary in the fire marshal's office was unable to provide any other information regarding the investigation, and Hersh was unavailable Friday.

Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Horn said Tuesday the tenants would be unable to live in the building for at least seven to 10 days because water and electricity were shut off. The building has 14 apartments, of which only one was vacant.

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Most of the building's tenants were asleep when the fire broke out. All were able to get out safely.

Grove's apartment was gutted, and the other third-floor apartments were heavily damaged by heat and smoke, fire officials said.

Apartments on the first and second floors had extensive water damage.

Horn said firefighters first tried to get to the fire by going up the front steps, but had to come back down and go around to the back when they realized the rear of the building was an addition and wasn't accessible from the front.

Seven tenants were provided shelter through the Red Cross. Seven others were staying with family or friends, Kline said.

All of the tenants were not accounted for since not everyone was home during the fire, she said.

Staff writer Julie Green contributed to this story.

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