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Child playing with lighter causes blaze

April 16, 2005

A child playing with a lighter caused a fire Friday afternoon that burned out a second-floor bedroom in one of three apartments at 323 S. Locust St., displacing a family of four and causing an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 damage.

Battalion Chief Randy Myers of the Hagerstown Fire Department said firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 4 p.m. and found extensive heat damage to the room. Everyone in the building had been evacuated.

"It was a quick stop," Myers said of the efforts to extinguish the fire.

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

A smoke detector was found on the second floor of the brick building, but it was inoperative, Myers said.

The Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting a family with temporary housing, according to Cindy Blackstock Kline, director of emergency services for the Red Cross. A woman and three children were the occupants of the affected apartment.

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