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Two families displaced by Hancock fire

October 04, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

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HANCOCK - Firefighters responding to reports of a house fire Wednesday morning arrived at 159 W. High St. to find a second house and a garage also on fire.

A pair of two-story wood homes connected by a garage and basement caught fire, the Maryland State Fire Marshal said.

Two families were displaced - a man in one house, and a husband, wife and three children in the other, fire officials said.

Someone in the home discovered the fire, which started in the basement workshop area, the fire marshal said in a news release.

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The fire caused about $50,000 in damage to the structure and $5,000 in damage to its contents, the fire marshal said.

The initial call went out at 9:05 a.m. for Hancock firefighters. Once on the scene, a second alarm was called in, and additional firefighters and equipment were dispatched to get the fire under control.

Almost 40 firefighters spent an hour getting the fire under control, the fire marshal said.

At 9:47 a.m., firefighters reported the fire was "knocked down," though areas in the houses were still showing flames that were being doused, fire officials said.

A short time later, firefighters were called back to extinguish some stubborn areas that were still burning.

The Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross was called in to assist the families.

Food and lodging was provided to the families, Tony Pirrone of the American Red Cross said.

There were no injuries reported in the operation, fire officials said.

The fire marshal ruled the preliminary cause of the fire as an electric malfunction.

The 100 block of High Street runs parallel to Main Street, one block to the north of and behind the Sheetz convenience store.

Firefighters from Hancock, Clear Spring, Williamsport, Halfway, Maugansville, Funkstown, Special Operations 20, Air Unit 25, Orleans (Allegany County), West Virginia 27 and West Virginia 1 (Morgan County) and Pennsylvania 55 (Fulton County) responded to the scene.

Staff writer Erin Julius contributed to this story.


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