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Fire takes life of city woman - UPDATE

February 21, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

erinc@herald-mail.com

In the first fatal fire in more than a year in Hagerstown, a woman died and her daughter was burned Monday night in a blaze that destroyed a mobile home at 280 S. Prospect St.

Linda Irene Ford, age unknown, died in the fire, which was called in at 9:48 p.m.

Her daughter, Dawn Bunch, 40, was taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment of second-degree burns to her hip and smoke inhalation. Her condition this morning was fair, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"The cause of the fire is still under investigation," said Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker this morning. "We'll know more when we get a full report."

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Tax records show the mobile home as owned by Barval Corp.

It was the first fatal fire of 2006, Hawbaker said, noting there were no fire fatalities in 2005 in Hagerstown.

When firefighters arrived, the blue and white mobile home near Park Circle was on fire with heavy smoke showing. One person was inside at the time, Hawbaker said.

Marianne Rickett, who lives in a mobile home near the one destroyed by the fire, said she was inside her home when she heard sirens. She said she looked outside and saw her neighbor's home on fire.

"It was just engulfed in flames," she said.

Rickett said a woman in her 50s lived in the mobile home.

Firefighters from Antietam, Western Enterprise, South End and Pioneer Hook and Ladder responded to the scene. It took firefighters about 10 minutes to put out the blaze, Hawbaker said.

The last emergency personnel left the scene at 1:19 this morning.

Also responding were Community Rescue Service and the Washington County Air Unit. No firefighters were injured, Hawbaker said.

Hagerstown Police blocked off parts of Virginia Avenue while firefighters worked at the scene.

This was at least the fourth mobile home fire in Washington County in 2006. While the cause of this fire was not known, the others were caused by a space heater, heating fuel and a dryer, fire investigators have said.

Staff writer Marlo Barnhart contributed to this story.

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