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Fire guts attic bedrooms

November 23, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Four Hagerstown residents were displaced Monday by a fire that gutted an attic used for bedrooms in a home near downtown.

Hagerstown Fire Department Capt. Russell Grim said a fire in the top floor of 20 East Ave. was reported just after 5:30 p.m. Grim said four people were in the home when the blaze began.

Grim said no injuries were reported, and the investigation was still in progress Monday evening.

About 25 firefighters contained the fire to two bedrooms in the attic and had the blaze under control in less than 30 minutes.

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"Pretty much everything up there is lost," he said.

Grim said some smoke and water damage was apparent on the second floor, though most items appeared salvageable.

The residents were taken to a family member's house for the evening, Grim said.

Adam Stratton, of 20 East Ave., said he, his sister and two of his children were inside the home when the fire erupted. Stratton said it began when a feather boa fell onto a wall-mounted light.

"I thought, if I could get a full bucket of water, I could have got it out," Stratton said. "The water was coming out too slow" from a tub faucet.

Stratton said at about 7:30 p.m. that the family was awaiting word from firefighters on the condition of cats inside the home that they could not find when they left the building. Minutes later, a man approached carrying two small cats.

The fire caused East Avenue to be shut down for more than two hours and led to traffic delays approaching streets surrounding Public Square, where the city's annual tree-lighting ceremony was being held after dusk.

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