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House fire ruled accidental

August 12, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Fire caused about $150,000 in damages on Friday to a house in the Paradise Homes development north of Hagerstown, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said.

The fire at 13803 Eden Drive, near Paradise Church Road, appeared to have been accidental. In a voice-mail message, Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said the cause likely was an electrical failure in wires leading to a ceiling vent fan.

As seen from the backyard, the roof of the one-story brick house had a gaping hole in it a few hours after the fire was reported.

The fire marshal's office estimated the damage to the building at $150,000, and the damage to the contents at $10,000.

Jason Eckstine, the deputy chief of the Long Meadow Volunteer Fire Co., said the call was dispatched at 1:07 p.m. as a chimney fire. However, when firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the roof.

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The fire started in a crawl space and spread to the rest of the roof, he said.

Eckstine said a man was home and reported the fire.

The man declined to comment as he looked over boxes and plastic bins in the garage and talked to fire officials.

The state fire marshal's office said in a press release that David Myers owns the property.

The 2,400-square-foot house was built in 1976, according to Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records.

Eckstine said it took firefighters about 30 minutes to control the fire.

About 45 firefighters from the Long Meadow, Maugansville, Leitersburg and Hagerstown fire departments responded, he said.

Washington County's Special Operations, rehab and air units also responded.

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