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Firefighters battle blaze at Marion stove business

July 16, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

MARION, Pa. - Firefighters climbed a series of ladders when extinguishing a Tuesday evening fire that had spread upward at a stove business housed in a former feed mill off Colorado Street.

The original call for emergency responders at 5:08 p.m. referenced an explosion at AJ Stoves & Pellets.

"It was a dust explosion in one of the hoppers," Marion Fire Chief Jerry Houpt said.

After talking with the business owner, Houpt concluded that the mechanical device on the side of the building likely threw a spark.

"It created a dust explosion and fire spread everywhere there was dust," Houpt said.

The fire used a series of pipes to travel to two more hoppers but caused only minor property damage.

Houpt said Tuesday night that the fire caused $5,000 to $10,000 in damage at the business at 5773 Colorado St. Extended, but no one was injured.

Firefighters attempted to salvage as much of the product as they could to minimize the business' loss.

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AJ Stoves & Pellets produces the fuel used by pellet stoves. Houpt said firefighters have been to the business three times in the last five to seven years.

"It's pretty much the same thing every time," he said.

Houpt said firefighters had to unload the hoppers to make sure the fire was extinguished before they cleared the scene at 8:41 p.m.

Fifty firefighters were on the scene, representing the Marion, New Franklin, Franklin, Greencastle Rescue Hose and St. Thomas departments. They were joined by a Chambersburg ambulance and the Franklin County Air Unit.

-Jennifer Fitch and Matthew Umstead

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