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Man burned in Cascade fire was owner of shop

February 09, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

CASCADE - The man who was hospitalized Saturday following a fire at a Cascade auto repair shop was the business' owner, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office.

An office news release said Gary Mekerdijian, whose age and address were not released, suffered burns during a 3:11 p.m. fire at the garage at 25216 Military Road. The fire, which caused an estimated $160,000 in damages to the structure, started when gasoline splashed on a hot work light and spread to combustibles inside the shop, according to the release.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Mowbray said the preliminary investigation indicates the fire was accidental.

Mowbray said Mekerdijian suffered burns to his upper body, face and hands, but did not know the severity of the burns. Mowbray and other deputy state fire marshals said they did not know his condition Sunday.

The news release said Mekerdijian was taken to Washington County Hospital and then flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore for treatment. However, Mekerdijian was not listed as a patient at the medical center at any point this weekend, a spokeswoman there said.

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Saturday's fire was controlled in about 15 minutes, according to the news release. The release said 60 firefighters from departments including Smithsburg, Leitersburg, Waynesboro, Pa., and Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., responded.

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