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Three escape injury in Hancock store fire

March 06, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

HANCOCK - Heavy smoke that cloaked both stories of Pittman's Discount Liquors in Hancock was cleared out quickly Wednesday night after firefighters discovered a fire in the store's ceiling.

One resident of an upstairs apartment and two store employees escaped uninjured, said Hancock Fire Co. Deputy Chief Brian Reed.

He said the source of the fire was found between the 4-foot drop ceiling of the first floor and the floor of two upstairs apartments.

Reed said firefighters had feared the fire would catch quickly on the drop ceiling of the store and spread to the rest of the building.

The blaze was contained within 15 minutes.

Randy Pittman, who's owned the 1 Virginia Ave. store for 35 years, said an electrical outage and smoke prompted him to call for help.

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Clear Spring Fire Co., Berkeley Springs Fire Co., Orleans (Md.) Fire Department and Needmore (Pa.) Fire Co. also responded to the call, Reed said.

"That's the response you get in a small community," he said. "You get in trouble and they all show up."

Pittman said he planned to open the shop for business today.

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