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Officials find man's body at site of brush fire

April 19, 2008|By DON AINES

ST. THOMAS, PA. - Firefighters responding Friday afternoon to a brush fire in a mountainous area of Hamilton Township discovered the body of a man who died of an apparent heart attack, Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said.

The body of Paul M. Bricker, 92, of Chambersburg, Pa., was discovered by firefighters who responded to calls of a possible mountain fire in the area of Mountain Road, Conner said. The fire was called in at 2:35 p.m., he said.

Franklin Fire Company Chief Mark Trace said calls were received from someone on Edenville Road and another person in the Kensington Heights development, and firefighters were dispatched for an investigation of outdoor smoke.

Bricker apparently was burning brush near his cabin at 5609 Mountain Road when he suffered the heart attack, Conner said. Bricker's body was found in a burned area about 50 feet from the brush pile, he said.

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The brush fire burned out of control after Bricker died, Conner said. He and Trace estimated the area damaged by fire at more than 10 acres, but Trace said no cabins were damaged.

The area where Bricker's body was found was up a dirt lane about a half-mile from Mountain Road, Trace said. Tankers were shuttled in to supply water to fight the fire.

The Franklin Fire Company was assisted by firefighters from the Letterkenny Army Depot Fire Department and fire companies from Fayetteville, New Franklin, Marion, Pleasant Hall, St. Thomas, Mercersburg and West End Shippensburg, Trace said. The Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources Bravo Forestry Team and a Chambersburg ambulance also were at the scene, he said.

A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal was called in to investigate, Trace said.

Trace said about 45 firefighters fought the fire. The last units left about 7 p.m., he said.

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