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Woman, three children lose their home in Friday blaze

October 09, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - A woman and three children lost their home Friday when a fire of undetermined origin raced through the two-story frame structure on Mercersburg Road in Peters Township, a fire department spokesman said.

Nick Barbuzanes, chief of the Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Fire Co. in Mercersburg, said the alarm came in for the fire at 3781 Mercersburg Road at 10:17 a.m.

The house is rented to Janice Divens. She was at home at the time, Barbuzanes said. Three children live in the house with Divens, Barbuzanes said.

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It could not be learned if any of the children were in the house at the time fire was discovered.

There were no injuries, Barbuzanes said. The cause is under investigation by the fire marshal, he said.

Divens rented the house from David Rotz, who lives next door, Barbuzanes said.

Barbuzanes said Rotz, a gunsmith, operated a shop in the two-car garage attached to the house that burned. Firefighters managed to keep the garage section from being damaged by the flames, Barbuzanes said.

"There was heavy fire in the house when we arrived on the scene," Barbuzanes said. He said flames were up to the second floor and breaking through the roof.

Adding to the fire was a 100-gallon propane gas tank on the side of the house that was involved.

"Flames where shooting out of it like a jet through the safety valve," Barbuzanes said.

Barbuzanes said firefighters managed to save some clothes and furniture from the house, including a television set. He had no damage estimate.

Barbuzanes said he was going to contact the American Red Cross to help the family. He didn't know where they would spend the night.

Fire department units from St. Thomas, Greencastle and Chambersburg in Franklin County responded, as well as units from McConnellsburg in Fulton County.

Firefighters left the scene around 3:15 p.m., Barbuzanes said.

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