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Storage building destroyed in blaze

June 21, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - An electrical malfunction is believed to be the cause of a Wednesday afternoon fire that destroyed a storage building at a Guilford Township farm.

"It's an old hog pen we used for storage," Fred Rice said.

The farm at 3572 Church Road belongs to Charles Fox of Chambersburg, but Rice said his family has rented the farmland for about 35 years.

The fire was called in at 2:48 p.m. and the first firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later, New Franklin Fire Chief Scott Bradnick said. The people living in the house at the farm heard a loud popping noise, and children came in the house and said the shed was on fire, he said.

Rice said the building contained barrels, old windows, doors, cinder blocks and materials from remodeling projects on other buildings. Just yards away is a barn that Rice said was built in 1803, but the wind was blowing away from that structure.

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Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Jeffrey Sarver said the cause had yet to be determined, but there were several indications that it was electrical. The fire started in the area where the electrical line entered the 40-foot-by-25-foot building and the wiring appeared frayed, he said.

Bradnick said firefighters from the Marion, Fayetteville, Mont Alto, Greencastle Rescue Hose, Franklin and Friendship fire companies and Waynesboro Fire Department responded to the fire, along with the Franklin County Air Unit.

"The heat took a toll on everybody," said Bradnick, although Wednesday's 80-degree temperature was much cooler than Tuesday.

After the fire was put out, the charred remains of the building were pushed over by a front-end loader.

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