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Fire destroys mobile home

March 10, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

LEITERSBURG - Flames turned a Leitersburg Smithsburg Road mobile home into a pile of twisted metal Tuesday, destroying the home and killing two cats.

The 9:33 a.m. fire was ruled accidental. It was caused by an electrical problem in the bedroom of Pam and Mark Henry's 21650 Leitersburg Smithsburg Road mobile home outside Leitersburg, said Jamie Rodeheaver, deputy state fire marshal.

He said two cats were found dead in the 12-by-70 mobile home.

Rodeheaver said the house was "a total loss:" Damage to the house was estimated at $50,000 and damage to its contents was estimated at $25,000.

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About 30 firefighters from Leitersburg, Smithsburg, Long Meadow, Mount Aetna and Waynesboro helped to knock down the flames of the fire in about 20 minutes, said Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Kirk Mongan.

Rodeheaver said Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services and the Washington County Air Unit were also at the scene.

Mongan said the owners of the house were believed to be on vacation in Philadelphia, Pa.

Fires in mobile homes particularly concern firefighters because of the speed at which fire spreads through them, Mongan said.

Half of the house was burned down to its beams by 10 a.m., revealing a charred lawnmower and bedframes beneath the home's burnt front porch, the posts of which had been eaten away to black sticks.

Mongan said that since the fire was off a rural road, the fire departments had no access to fire hydrants and had to bring in a portable water supply.

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