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Fire destroys mobile home

January 30, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Flames destroyed a home in a mobile home park north of Hagerstown late Saturday after kerosene ignited in a furnace designed to use heating oil, fire officials said.

No one was home at the time.

The mobile home at 18602 Carolyn St. was a "total loss," Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. Capt. Chuck Burleson said Sunday.

Crews were dispatched to the scene at 11:34 p.m. Saturday and cleared the scene at 1:39 a.m. Sunday, a Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher said Sunday.

Saturday's fire was the second in less than two weeks at the mobile home park. A mobile home on Lois Street was destroyed on Jan. 17.

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According to Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Allen Gosnell, the fire started because of improper use of a furnace. The furnace, which was designed to burn heating oil, had been partially filled with kerosene, a hotter and faster burning fuel, Gosnell said.

"It built up fumes and, basically, the fumes ignited and it caught the place on fire," Gosnell said.

Gosnell said residents should only use furnace fuel as recommended by their furnaces' manufacturers.

The fire caused about $8,000 in damage to the structure and $6,000 in damage to the home's contents, Deputy State Fire Marshal Edward Ernst said.

The home's residents are staying with friends, Burleson said.

Forty-seven firefighters from companies including Maugansville, Williamsport, Longmeadow, Leitersburg and Greencastle, Pa., responded to the fire, while a crew from Clear Spring helped cover the Maugansville station, Burleson said. The home was burning when crews arrived, he said.

"Tried to save it, but it had a pretty good jump on us," Burleson said.

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