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Official says fire at vacant plant set by transients

February 24, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

A fire Wednesday at the vacant Municipal Electric Light Plant was caused by transient people burning trash and wire inside, a fire official said.

The building is at Memorial and Eastern boulevards, near Municipal Stadium.

Transient people stay in the building, said Randy Myers, a battalion chief for the Hagerstown Fire Department.

Myers said transients burn wire to strip it and get the metal and they burn trash to make a hotter fire.

The Hagerstown Fire Department arrived at about 11:45 a.m. Myers said no one was inside the building.

"When they hear the sirens, they take off," he said.

Someone left a razor behind, he said.

Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the building when they got there. Myers said it took little time to douse it.

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The biggest problem was access - having to drive along a narrow path to the back of the building to get in, he said.

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