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Truck fire spreads to town house

causes heavy damage

May 18, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A town house was heavily damaged Thursday afternoon when a pickup truck parked outside caught fire, sending flames to the garage door.

"I came home for lunch in my work truck," said Shaun Thornton of 1004 Laurich Drive. He later looked out the window and saw smoke.

"I looked out a little further and saw flames coming from the truck," said Thornton, who ran outside and tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire with a garden hose. The garage door was closed, but the fire spread up the door and into the interior of the house, he said.

Thornton's dogs were in the garage in cages and he managed to get them out safely.

"They were all right. The animal lovers will be happy," Thornton said.

Both the house and the truck were insured, he said.

"I can't believe the truck caught on fire and caught the house on fire," said Thornton, who lived there with his wife, Erica.

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"All of a sudden, I just heard a boom," neighbor Kim Brunner said. "The next thing I knew, the back of the house was on fire and there was smoke coming out of the front of the house."

Behind the house, the charred truck sat on steel rims, the tires having melted, while firefighters hauled out blackened debris.

Franklin Fire Co. Deputy Chief Steve Himes said the fire was dispatched at 12:22 p.m. Fire engines and tankers from Mercersburg, Marion, Chambersburg, Greencastle, St. Thomas and New Franklin assisted at the scene, along with the Franklin County Air 10 unit, he said.

The house sustained heavy fire damage to the basement garage and to the first-floor kitchen above, Himes said. The second floor had smoke damage, he said.

The town houses on either side had some smoke damage, but were still inhabitable, Himes said.

What caused the truck to catch fire was under investigation by a Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal, but Himes said it is not believed to be suspicious in origin. The Thorntons will be staying with family, he said.

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