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Fallen tree starts brush fire

February 12, 2009

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The MMP&W Fire Co. worked with 11 other departments in Franklin County Wednesday morning to battle a wind-driven brush fire that started when a tree fell on to electric lines around 10:30 a.m.

Fire Chief Dusty Stoner said he was worried as the fire covered 30.2 acres of a field surrounded on all sides by houses and barns. Firefighters sprayed water from the back of brush trucks and put down spray bars.

"It could've been a scene like out West, but thank God it wasn't," Stoner said.

He attributed the fire's successful containment to approximately 45 firefighters who converged in the 12000 block of Punch Bowl Road in Montgomery Township, Pa.

"We got very lucky. A lot of the departments had manpower available today," Stoner said.

Susan Dutko, Franklin County's acting emergency services director, told The Herald-Mail at the start of the fire that houses might have to be evacuated. However, no houses were evacuated and firefighters were able to leave the scene in about two hours.

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"The wind was constantly changing direction on us, so that was a big problem," Stoner said.

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