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Fire started on bed, official says

March 09, 2005

The Hagerstown Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday that a fire at the Dagmar Hotel that left a resident there severely injured started on a bed inside a sixth-floor room.

Lead investigator Richard L. Miller, a city assistant fire marshal, said the Feb. 26 fire started on the bedding inside Stephen Ropelewski's room. Miller said Tuesday that an exact cause had not been determined.

"We're hoping we get a chance to talk to him before we release anymore information," he said.

Miller said that has been a problem because the severely injured Ropelewski has been unable to speak since the incident and is breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Ropelewski was listed late Tuesday in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, a medical center spokeswoman said.

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