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Fire damages apartment, leaves family homeless

December 14, 2000

Fire damages apartment, leaves family homeless



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A family of seven was left homeless by a fire that heavily damaged two rooms of their North Church Street apartment Thursday morning, Waynesboro Fire Chief Dale Fishack said.

The family - Greg and Nina Geiger and their five children, ages 8 to 17 - were being helped by the local Red Cross chapter, Fishack said.

The Red Cross has put the family up in a local motel until they can return to their 109 N. Church St. apartment.

"We offered to help them but they refused," he said.

No one was injured in the 3:58 a.m. blaze, which was started by a candle that was left lighted on the dresser in the bedroom of the Geigers' 17-year-old daughter, Fishack said.

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The girl awoke to find smoke and fire in the room. She rushed out and got a bucket of water to douse the flames but the fire was out of control by that time, he said.

"Usually people never wake up in situations like that because of the smoke and poisonous gases. She was a very lucky girl," the chief said.

Fishack said the girl suffered the biggest loss in the fire because most of her belongings were in her bedroom which, along with a room next door, sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage.

He said most of the family's other belongings were damaged by smoke, but should be salvageable. The family's Christmas tree did not seem to be damaged, he said.

Fishack had no damage estimate Thursday afternoon.

The apartment was equipped with a smoke detector, but the girl's bedroom door was closed so it didn't activate, according to Fishack.

A first-floor apartment in the two-apartment building, which is owned by Waynesboro attorney William Dick, was unoccupied, Fishack said. The first floor sustained water damage, he said.

Other Franklin County fire departments responding included Blue Ridge Summit and Mont Alto, along with Leitersburg. Md.

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