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No one injured in city fire

February 18, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Three families were left without a home Saturday afternoon after fire damaged an apartment building at 145 S. Prospect St.

No one was injured in the fire, which was called in Saturday around 12:30 p.m., said Ron Horn, deputy chief of the Hagerstown Fire Department.

All three apartments in the three-story structure suffered "extensive damage," Horn said.

The cause of the fire was not determined Saturday.

John Huntzberry, 17, was showering in his second-floor apartment when he smelled smoke. Huntzberry made his way to the hallway, but he couldn't see anything through the smoke, he said.

He ran to wake up his brother, who already was running toward him, Huntzberry said.

"I could feel the heat at my back," he said.

Neighbors were kicking the front door, yelling at them to get away from the house, Huntzberry said.

"It toasted the whole front of the house," said Huntzberry's brother, Mike Huntzberry, 19. "But the fire people did a real good job."

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Mike Huntzberry ran out the house with only one boot on, he said.

As fire and rescue personnel investigated the fire, the brothers stood in the street wearing clothes and shoes borrowed from friends and neighbors.

"It ruined our living room," John Huntzberry said. "Our living room was on fire."

As he looked through the windows, he could see his collection of hats and the family's pictures still hanging on the wall, Huntzberry said.

The firefighters said the apartment also suffered extensive smoke damage, John Huntzberry said.

Two other families lived in the apartment building, said the Huntzberry brothers, who lived there with their mother.

The American Red Cross was called in to help the families relocate, Horn said.

The fire left half of the old building in Hagerstown's Historic District blackened from smoke. Windows had been blown out and rubble was in a pile on the front lawn.

The third floor was damaged the worst, according to the Huntzberry brothers.

All Hagerstown Fire Department units responded to the fire. Community Rescue Service, the Emergency Rehab Unit and the Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway assisted at the scene, Horn said.

About 40 firefighters were on scene, Horn said.

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