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Fire leaves Pa. family homeless

June 16, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

ST. THOMAS, PA. - A family of four was staying with relatives after their home was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday morning, according to the St. Thomas Volunteer Fire Co.

"My son lit one of his toys on fire and threw it in the closet," Christy McFadden of 4417 Gary Way said Tuesday afternoon. McFadden said she was at home with her two sons, ages 3 years and 18 months, and two children she was baby-sitting when the fire started.

Although it was a child-proof grill lighter, McFadden said her son somehow managed to light it.

McFadden said her husband, James, was at work when the fire started. She and the four children escaped without injury, she said.

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Several animals in the house died in the fire, however, McFadden said.

"We managed to save one of the bunnies, but we lost a bunny, a hamster and a cockatiel," she said.

The fire company report stated the fire was called in at 8:14 a.m. and the first units arrived seven minutes later. Firefighters from Marion, Mercersburg and the Franklin Fire Co. in Chambersburg responded to the fire, along with the Franklin County Air 10 Unit.

McFadden said most of the fire damage was to the play room and children's bedroom, but there was extensive fire damage to the roof and smoke damage to much of the rest of the house. The house may not be salvageable, she said.

She and her husband later got their clothes out of their bedroom, but "people have given us clothes and toys for my sons. The neighbors gathered up stuff."

For the time being, McFadden said the family is staying with her parents in Fayetteville, Pa. She said their house was insured.

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