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Mobile home destroyed by fire blamed on smoking

September 18, 2008

Careless smoking apparently caused a Wednesday afternoon fire that destroyed a Hagerstown mobile home and killed several pets, fire officials said.

The two-alarm fire at 9871 Crossfield Drive was discovered by a neighbor at about 4:37 p.m., the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office said in a news release. It was controlled within 20 minutes and caused about $15,000 damage to the structure and $5,000 damage to its contents, officials said.

No people were injured in the fire, but the owner and occupant, Jan Carter, lost several pets in the fire, said Gloria Bastian, a disaster services volunteer with the Red Cross of Washington County. The mobile home is uninhabitable after the fire, so the Red Cross is assisting Carter, Bastian said. However, Red Cross housing assistance is limited to three days, Bastian said.

The 16 foot-by-60 foot wood-frame mobile home did not have a smoke alarm, fire officials said. The fire began in an office inside the residence, fire officials said.

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A total of 47 firefighters from Funkstown, Mt. Aetna, Boonsboro, Halfway, Hagerstown, Long Meadow, Smithsburg, Fairplay and Leitersburg companies responded, the Fire Marshal's office said.

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