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Fire displaces family from home

August 22, 2007

A fire started Tuesday night by a child playing with a lighter has temporarily displaced a family from their town house in the 10100 block of St. George Circle, Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst said.

The fire, started in the second floor master bedroom, destroyed a bed and caused $20,000 in smoke damage to the bedroom.

An adult and three children were at home at the time of the fire, and all three got out safely, Ernst said. The adult was in the shower when he saw smoke and removed the children from the house.

Four fire departments, an air unit and a rehab unit responded to the fire and were able to control it within 10 minutes.

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"It was contained in one room," Ernst said. "The fire department did a good knockdown and got it quick, but you can't stay there until it gets cleaned up."

The Red Cross is assisting the family in the meantime, Ernst said.

He encouraged families with children to keep lighters and matches out of reach.

"It could have been prevented if that lighter had been kept in a high spot," he said.

St. George Circle is south of Hagerstown, near Sharpsburg Pike.

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