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Fire guts vacant house

August 14, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Fire consumed a vacant house on Old Forge Road near Chewsville Wednesday.

Dozens of firefighters took turns dousing the two-story brick house from the front and back.

Milton Bloom, deputy chief of the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co., said the two-family house probably has been empty for at least 10 years.

Bloom said a state fire marshal was called in to investigate.

Standing amid clumps of bushy, moth-infested grass, firefighters stood or crouched in teams of two as they sprayed the house, aiming for hot spots in the walls, ceiling and roof.

At 8 p.m., about an hour after the call was dispatched, small pockets of flames could be seen in the rubble and the charred roof.

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A large section of the rear wall and roof had collapsed. A corresponding section of the vine-covered front of the house was ruined, too.

Bloom said it looked like the fire started in the back of the house.

The house sits alone at the end of a long, gated dirt driveway. Obscured by woods, it cannot be seen from the road.

Fire police diverted Little Antietam Road traffic away from Old Forge Road, where firetrucks were parked in the eastbound lane.

Bloom said that firefighters and ambulance crews from Smithsburg, Longmeadow, Williamsport, Mt. Aetna, Community Rescue Service and Waynesboro assisted on the call.

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