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Woman, children escape harm in Waynesboro fire

October 14, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A mid-morning fire in a duplex on Friday left a mother and her five children who lived in one apartment homeless and damaged an apartment next door occupied by a family of five, a spokesman for the Waynesboro Fire Department said.

There were no injuries although occupants were in both apartments at the time the fire was discovered in an attic bedroom, the spokesman said.

Michelle Forsythe and her five children, ages 15, 14, 4 and a set of 2-year-old twins, lived in the apartment at 38 Cleveland Ave. Heather Noll said two adults and her three children lived at 36 Cleveland Ave.

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The fire started in an attic bedroom in the Forsythe apartment, the spokesman said. Most of the fire and water damage was on the 38 Cleveland Ave. side, he said.

Noll said her attic, which she used for storage, was also damaged by fire and water.

"I was in bed at the time when a man saw the fire and barged in and said to get out, that the house was in fire," Noll said.

Flames shot from the upper side of the house and roof of the 21/2-story frame house.

Firefighters from Waynesboro, Blue Ridge Summit and Washington County were at the scene for about three hours.

Bradley Smith, owner of the building, said he believed the fire was caused by a faulty space heater in the attic bedroom.

He had no damage estimate, but said the building was insured.

He said Forsythe and her children were staying with relatives in Hagerstown. She could not be reached for comment.

Noll said she would be able to stay in her apartment. She said she had no renter's insurance to cover the loss of the items and furniture she had stored in the attic.

The alarm came in at 10:25 a.m.

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