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Fires displace two Franklin County families

July 15, 2008|By DON AINES

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- One home was destroyed and another heavily damaged in fires Monday that displaced families in Montgomery and St. Thomas townships, according to fire officials.

The first fire was reported at about 12:45 a.m. at the home of Jack and Kathy Kendall at 2328 Community Center Road, St. Thomas Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Mark Straley said.

"The dog alerted them of the fire," Straley said. The couple and the dog escaped from the one-story rancher without injury, he said.

The fire destroyed two bedrooms of the house and there was heavy smoke and water damage to the rest of the building, he said. The cause of the fire was undetermined and Trooper Jeffrey Sarver was called to investigate, he said.

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Firefighters cleared the scene at about 4:30 a.m., Straley said.

At 3:28 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to 11915 Punch Bowl Road near Mercersburg, Pa., for a mobile home fire. Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Assistant Chief Dale Carbaugh said the home, a shed and a sport utility vehicle were burning when firefighters arrived.

The owners, Mike and Dawn Leasure, were not inside at the time, Carbaugh said. The cause of that fire was being investigated by Sarver, he said.

A propane tank at one end of the home "blew off" during the fire, venting the gas as designed, Carbaugh said. One end of the home collapsed and the rest appeared gutted.

No one was injured in the fire. A Franklin County 911 dispatcher said firefighters were at the house until about 5:40 p.m.

Firefighters from Pennsylvania companies McConnellsburg, Greencastle, Marion and St. Thomas assisted at the scene, along with Maugansville and Clear Spring firefighters from Washington County. The Franklin County Emergency Air Unit was also at the fire.

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