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Fire ruled an arson

March 10, 2001

Fire ruled an arson



A fire that burned the exteriors of two neighboring homes on Church Street Saturday afternoon was ruled arson by Hagerstown Fire Marshal John Hersh.

The cause of the fire had not been determined by Saturday night.

Washington County Fire and Rescue Communications received at least 15 to 20 911 calls about the 4:22 p.m. fire, which could be seen from around the city, fire officials said.

The fire started behind the vacant homes at 129 and 131 Church St., said Fire Capt. Brian Pile.

Neighbors said there are often transients hanging out behind the homes drinking and smoking.

Hersh said beer cans and wine and whiskey bottles were found behind the homes along with a television, components of a music system, a printer, an easy chair and mattress springs.

Firefighters had most of the fire knocked down within a minute after arriving, Pile said.

Firefighters had to rip the white aluminum siding and some wood off 129 Church St. to ventilate the heavy smoke. Some of the interior of that home was damaged, Hersh said.

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The other home was brick.

About 22 firefighters responded, including the Washington County Emergency Air Unit.

- Julie E. Greene

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