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7 displaced by fire in Waynesboro

February 25, 2006|By DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, PA. -

Damage from a two-alarm apartment house fire Friday afternoon was limited, but seven people were temporarily displaced from the building until repairs are made.

"When we pulled up and saw the smoke coming out of all four sides of the building it looked worse than it was," Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel said. He said no one was in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

The fire was caused by old wiring in the basement of 34 S. Church St., a two-story brick apartment building with four units, Flegel said. Fire damage was limited to a small area of the basement to the rear of the building and there was light to moderate smoke damage in the apartments, Flegel said.

"I pulled in the driveway and I saw smoke and flames around the back door and I called the fire department," said Jessica Souders, who lives in the building with her husband and two children. The fire was called in at 1:17 p.m., according to a 911 dispatcher.

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"My puppy was saved," said Brooke Martin, one of the building's seven tenants. "I'm just glad everyone's OK," said Martin, who was not home when the fire started.

Flegel said he did not know if any of the tenants would need assistance finding shelter overnight, but Martin said she would be staying with her sister and Souders said her family would also be staying with a relative.

An electrician would have to isolate the damaged circuits before electricity could be restored to the house, Flegel said. With Friday's blustery conditions, Flegel said the fire could have spread quickly had it not been spotted in time.

Firefighters from Blue Ridge, Mont Alto, Fountaindale, New Franklin and Franklin fire companies in Pennsylvania and the Smithsburg, Leitersburg and Longmeadow fire companies in Maryland were dispatched to the fire, but some were recalled before arriving, the 911 dispatcher said.

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