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Fire destroys Waynesboro barn

High winds and dry air stoke blaze at Paul's Market

High winds and dry air stoke blaze at Paul's Market

December 29, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- High winds stoked a late-morning blaze at Paul's Market on Pa. 316 north of Waynesboro, burning the adjacent family barn to the ground in less than an hour, firefighters said.

Firefighters from Pennsylvania and Maryland worked to keep the fire, which started at 11:22 a.m., from spreading to the house, business and garage, Waynesboro Fire Department Capt. Bob Blizzard said.

"The high winds and dry air made it burn quickly," Blizzard said.

Fortunately, the wind was blowing away from the house, homeowner Mary Hess said.

"We are blessed it was burning the barn and could not reach the house," she said.

Mary and her husband, Paul, own the market, home and barn at 6374 Nunnery Road in Quincy Township, Pa.

The house was not entirely unaffected, Blizzard said.

Heat from the blaze melted siding on the family home and cracked several windows, but Mary Hess said the house was livable.

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Flames from the 100-year-old wooden barn reached the family garage, singeing many items in the concrete block structure.

Also affected was a small building filled with beehives, Paul Hess said.

Once firefighters knocked the flames down, they lined up to pass the beehive boxes from the small building.

While the garage, house and bee house remained standing, the barn was a total loss, Blizzard said as the pile of charred wood smoldered in the wind.

Paul Hess said some animals did not make it out of the barn in time, including 50 chickens that supply eggs for the market and a pregnant goat.

The cause of the fire has not be determined, Blizzard said.

However, a heat lamp was on in the barn to keep the pregnant goat warm until she gave birth, Paul Hess said. He said the lamp likely caused the fire.

"We have a lot to be thankful for," said Mary Hess. "No one was injured, our home is fine and our business is fine."

The family showed its gratitude to the many firefighters by passing around sandwiches and cookies.

Mary Hess said a neighbor noticed the flames and called 911.

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