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Fire leaves family of five homeless

October 19, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

ST. THOMAS, Pa. - A mother and her 3-year-old son escaped their burning home with minor injuries Tuesday morning in the Rolling Acres development in St. Thomas Township, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

"It's pretty much a total loss," St. Thomas Assistant Fire Chief Mark Straley said of the fire at 1616 White Pine Drive. The interior of the house was heavily damaged in the fire, which Straley said was called in at 11:04 a.m.

Trooper Stanford Sydnor, a state police fire marshal, said Tammy Eckenrode had just put one of her children on a school bus and returned to the home to find the living room on fire and her 3-year-old son standing in the doorway of the room. Eckenrode was able to get her child out of the house, but both were taken to Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital.

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The mother refused treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation and the boy was treated for minor burns and released.

Straley said Tuesday afternoon that Sydnor had not determined the cause of the fire, which left the family of five homeless. Straley said be believed they were staying with relatives.

Firefighters arrived on the scene within a few minutes of the alarm and it took them 10 to 15 minutes to bring the fire under control, Straley said. They were at the scene for about 21/2 hours, he said.

Charred furniture and personal belongings from inside the home were strewn about the backyard.

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