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Fire guts Pa. duplex

April 06, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Fire gutted a duplex on South Church Street late Thursday and forced police to evacuate residents from two nearby homes.

The fire gutted 337-339 S. Church St. and spread to 335 S. Church St. and 341-341 1/2 S. Church St., Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel said.

When fire crews arrived, flames were visible from the rear of 335 S. Church St., a two-story white house in the block between Third and Fourth streets.

Fire also could be seen in the backyards of neighboring properties.

Several explosions were heard from the rear of the buildings around 11:05 p.m.

Neighbors reported hearing a sharp cracking sound like a gunshot and reported seeing a blue flash before the fire started. One neighbor said he called 911 around 10:40 p.m. after seeing flames.

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Flegel said the fire appeared to have started at the rear of 337-339 S. Church St. and spread to the neighboring buildings on both sides.

Smoke was seen coming from an upper-floor window at 341-341 1/2 S. Church St., a red brick duplex.

Firefighters from companies in Franklin County, Pa., and Washington County, Md., were on the scene along with fire police and the Waynesboro Police Department.

Fire police blocked off several streets in the area.

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