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Fire displaces 10 in Hagerstown

blaze blamed on electrical cord

February 05, 2008

A Sunday night fire at 804 W. Washington St. that displaced at least 10 people has been blamed on an electrical cord to a stove inside a wall, Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said this morning.

"We are putting 10 of those residents up in motels," said Mike Mowen, director of emergency services for the American Red Cross of Washington County.

Mowen said one of the 10 is a child. No one was injured and most of the residents' clothes were spared.

Mike Weller, Hagerstown fire educator, said this morning that there were nine people living in the third-floor apartment with one occupant each on the first and second floors.

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"There were multiple nonworking smoke detectors in the building," Weller said. The building is owned by Twilla Ishler who lives in Florida.

The fire call came in at 10:22 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters from First Hose, Antietam, Western Enterprise and Pioneer Hook and Ladder responded.

Battalion Chief Richard Hopkins was in charge of the call with Hagerstown Fire Marshal Richard Miller doing the investigation into the cause.

"The fire marshal told me if the occupants hadn't been home, it would have been a major fire," Weller said.

All units had left the scene by 1:15 a.m. today.

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