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Fire leaves family homeless

December 20, 2001

Fire leaves family homeless



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI
kimy@herald-mail.com


Fire damaged a Washington County home Tuesday evening, leaving a family of four homeless a week before Christmas.

Firefighters were called to 1115 Mount Aetna Road at around 6 p.m. after the occupants noticed fire at the base of a chimney.

The occupants got out safely and ran to a neighbor's house to call for help, said Funkstown Fire Co. Chief James Kershner.

Smoke and flames were pouring out of the rear of the building when firefighters from Funkstown and Hagerstown arrived.

Kershner said the original section of the structure was built more than 100 years ago, and the house had one or two rear additions.

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The fire spread quickly because of the age of the house and the dry firewood stored inside, he said.

The rear of the home was gutted and the rest of the building was damaged by smoke and water, he said.

The home had no working smoke detector, Kershner said.

The property is owned by John Sowers, who did not live in the house. The occupants, two adults and two children, were remodeling the home, said Kershner.

The house had no water or sewer and was not insured, said Kershner.

The family living in the home was being helped by the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross Tuesday evening, he said.

Kershner said it appeared the fire was caused by a cracked flue, but said a fire marshal would investigate.

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