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Auto repair fire sends one man to hospital

Second man thought to be in building not yet located

Second man thought to be in building not yet located

February 08, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A fire at a former BP gas station in Cascade Saturday afternoon sent one man to the hospital as crews searched for his friend believed to be inside the charred building.

It turned out that the second man was not in the building when emergency crews arrived, Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Ron Jeter said. They were unable to find him.

The man that was taken to the hospital was walking down Security Road from the automobile repair shop, just down the street from Fort Ritchie, as crews pulled onto the scene at about 3:15 p.m.

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The man immediately was taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment of his burns, but Jeter said the man told crews that his friend also was inside the shop, which led crews on an extensive search for him.

"Supposedly they were working on a vehicle, dropped a gas tank and something caught fire after that," Jeter said.

He said he doesn't know if the men were employees there.

Jeter did not know the identity of either man Saturday night.

A state fire marshal who investigated the call could not be reached for comment.

Orange, red, blue and green water lines stretching across the snow-covered driveway of the now-auto repair shop led into the main garage, its windows charred from the fire that blazed over two cars parked inside.

The fire was knocked down at about 3:45 p.m.

"I'd say the building is a total loss," Jeter said.

Although there were no fuel pumps outside, the green sign for BP still hung outside the building, listing unleaded gas at $1.33 per gallon.

Emergency service crews walked in lines carrying jacks into the white charred repair shop as fire crews from Leitersburg, Smithsburg, Wolfsville, Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and Thurmont, Md., worked on batting down the fire and making the structure safe. Washington County Special Operations also assisted.

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