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Fire damages duplex

July 29, 2006|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A candle used for lighting might have been the cause of a Friday morning fire in a duplex that displaced a family, Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel said.

The fire at 36-38 E. North St. was reported at 12:51 a.m., and flames were coming from a second-floor bedroom window at 36 E. North St. when firefighters arrived, Flegel said. No one was living in that side of the duplex at the time, and the electricity had been turned off, he said.

That side of the duplex is rented by John Clevenger, whom Flegel said is out of the area on military duty. Clevenger's son and daughter, however, were living with another family while their father is away, he said.

The children had returned to the house about 10 p.m. to take care of their dog and get some clothes, Flegel said. Because it had no electric service, they used tea light candles to see, he said.

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The children had, however, left well before the fire was reported and said the candles had been put out, he said.

Carl Butler, Holly Green and two children live in 38 E. North St., Flegel said. They heard the dog barking prior to discovering the fire, he said.

The dog died in the fire, but a cat escaped the house, Flegel said.

The fire was contained to the second-floor bedroom, but there was extensive heat and smoke damage to another bedroom, and heat, smoke and water damage to the rest of the house, Flegel said. Next door, there was moderate smoke and water damage at 38 E. North St., he said.

Flegel estimated the damage to the duplex and personal property at more than $50,000.

The Red Cross offered assistance to the families, but Green and Butler made arrangements to stay with family or friends, and Clevenger's children already were staying with another family, Flegel said.

Firefighters from Mont Alto and the Blue Ridge Fire and Rescue companies assisted at the scene, Flegel said. Firefighters were on the scene until 4 a.m., he said.

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