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Pa. hog pen fire ruled suspicious

July 24, 2007|By DON AINES

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - A Monday afternoon fire that destroyed what had been an old hog pen has been ruled suspicious, according to West End Fire and Rescue Chief Randy O'Donnell.

The 4:22 p.m. fire on the 700 block of Mainsville Road in Southampton Township leveled the 15-by-40-foot shed. O'Donnell said a Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal had been called in to investigate.

"I saw a couple of kids run off into the cornfield," said Butch Powell of Chambersburg, Pa., who was working in the barn a few yards from the pen when the fire was spotted. The building was engulfed in flames when he first saw it, Powell said.

"I was worried someone else was in the building," said Powell. He said the boys he saw running away were about 9 or 10 years old.

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Powell's wife was sleeping in a travel trailer that was also just a few yards from the pen and his pickup truck was parked within feet of the burning structure. He managed to drive it a safe distance away, but "it was all I could do to get in the door, it was so hot," Powell said.

O'Donnell said no one was injured in the fire, which took about 10 minutes to bring under control. Firefighters were aided by a fire hydrant at the roadside.

Powell said the barn near the hog pen is rented by a company he works for. O'Donnell said the property is owned by Chris Coover of Shippensburg.

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