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Hagerstown firefighters stop man from jumping out window

October 02, 2008

Police took a naked man away in handcuffs from the scene of a fire call Wednesday in Hagerstown, a fire official said.

The Hagerstown Fire Department was dispatched to an apartment building in the 100 block of South Potomac Street at 7:08 p.m. for a report of a mattress fire, Battalion Chief Justin Mayhue said.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming from the second floor and a man was threatening to jump from the open window, Mayhue said.

Firefighters told him not to jump and extended a ladder to the window so they could get him. A woman yelled at him from the sidewalk not to jump.

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But the man pushed the ladder aside and tried to get out the window head-first, Mayhue said.

As firefighters outside continued to tell him not to jump, others went inside and grabbed the man by his pants as he was trying to get out the window, Mayhue said. The man's pants came off.

Hagerstown Police arrived and took the man away. Neighbors later said the man was naked, which Mayhue confirmed.

Hagerstown Police say the man was in handcuffs because he was going to be psychologically evaluated.

Mayhue called it one of the most unusual things he's seen as a firefighter.

He added that firefighters did a good job of keeping the man from going out the window.

Shortly before 8 p.m., firefighters removed a mattress and a burned boxspring from the apartment building.

Mayhue said occupants of the building were allowed back inside afterward, except those in the apartment that had the fire.

- Andrew Schotz

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