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Fire in cabinetry shop closes Pa. career center for the day

February 08, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A fire in a sawdust collection system in the carpentry shop forced the cancellation of classes Tuesday at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center on Loop Road in Guilford Township.

"There were flames coming up the wall and into the ceiling," said teaching assistant Becky Allison. Tim Ebersole, a substitute teacher in the Protective Services Department, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the flames inside the shop, she said.

Although flames were inside the building, Center Director James Duffey said most of the damage was to the collector, which is outside of the building. Principal Michele Orner said the fire occurred at about 9 a.m.

There were about 600 students in the building at the time who were evacuated to the nearby Franklin Learning Center. The cause of the fire and the dollar value of the damage was not known, but classes were scheduled to resume on time today, he said.

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Orner said the all-day students were dismissed at 10 a.m. Morning students from Chambersburg were returned to Chambersburg Area Senior High School and afternoon students from that district were told not to report for their classes.

An open house scheduled for Tuesday night was postponed, Duffey said. A new date for the event would be announced later, he said.

Marion Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Jerry Houpt said firefighters from the New Franklin, Franklin, St. Thomas and Mont Alto fire companies responded to the fire, along with the Chambersburg Fire Department.

No injuries were reported in the fire, but Houpt said there was a mishap involving two emergency vehicles, a Marion fire engine and a New Franklin ladder truck that collided in the school parking lot. He said the extent of damage to the vehicles was being evaluated Tuesday.

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