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Apartment building fire displaces residents

February 21, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

A Saturday afternoon fire at 429 Summit Ave. caused no injuries, but residents of the two occupied apartments were displaced, Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said.

Firefighters had trouble accessing part of the three-story apartment building where the fire had started, Hawbaker said.

"They couldn't get into that peak in the front of the building," Hawbaker said. The peak, or turret, of the brick building apparently had been closed off.

Capt. Justin Mayhue said only two of the building's three apartments were occupied at the time of the fire. The ground floor apartment was vacant.

"The family living on the second floor is staying with relatives," Mayhue said.

The Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross was alerted to help relocate any families displaced by the fire who had nowhere else to go.

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"We will be assisting one person from the third floor with housing," said Red Cross volunteer Bob McEnroe, who went to the scene.

Mayhue said the fire began at 2:30 p.m. in the attic of the building and caused heavy charring of the rafters. The cause was accidental, he said.

"There was very little water damage - the boys did a good job stopping the fire," Mayhue said.

Firefighters remained on the scene for two hours.

Power was off in the building and there was some damage caused when firefighters had to break through to the area of the attic where was the fire was burning.

Firefighters from First Hose, Antietam, Western Enterprise, South End and Pioneer Hook and Ladder were assisted by Funkstown personnel, the Washington County Air Unit and Community Rescue Service along with Hagerstown Fire Police.

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