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Decorations may have caused fire

December 27, 2008

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A fire that destroyed a Chambersburg area home Friday night appears to have been caused by a timer that was installed on the front porch to illuminate Christmas lights, fire and police officials said Saturday.

Sven and Maria Trenkle, owners of the two-story wood-frame home at 1671 Rose Hill Court in Hamilton Township, were not at home when the blaze started and no one was injured, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Trooper F.M. Hershey Jr. said.

"We're leaning toward (classifying it as) an accidental fire," Hershey said Saturday.

Reported at 9:18 p.m. as a porch fire, Franklin Fire Co. Chief Mark Trace said flames were going through the roof of the home when firefighters arrived at the residence. Trace said the home was about four minutes from the company's station.

Three dogs were rescued from the home before they arrived, Trace said.

Trace said the home was all but completely destroyed and the siding on a neighboring home was buckled by the heat from the blaze.

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Hershey said the Trenkles were at a neighbor's house when the fire started.

Firefighters from the New Franklin, St. Thomas, Marion, Letterkenny, Shippensburg, Fayetteville and Chambersburg departments joined the Franklin Fire Co. in responding to the blaze, Trace said.

-- Matthew Umstead

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