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Kitchen fire leaves York Road home uninhabitable

May 16, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

HALFWAY -- A Washington County Sheriff's deputy pulled a woman out of her Halfway house Sunday morning after noticing that her house was on fire, he said.

The woman, who lived in the home alone, had a bandage on one hand, but refused to be transported for medical treatment, according to a woman sitting with her on a neighbor's porch.

The one-story brick home at 17514 York Road received heavy smoke and fire damage, and was unlivable, said Ed Ernst, deputy fire chief with the Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway. Ernst estimated the damage at approximately $75,000. He did not know whether the home was insured.

The fire was reported at 10:35 a.m. and was reported out by 10:48 a.m. Sunday, according to Washington County 911 dispatch. The neighborhood is bordered by Halfway Boulevard, Virginia Avenue and Valley Mall.

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Ernst, who also is a deputy state fire marshal, said a fire marshal would not need to investigate, since it was an accidental kitchen fire. There were pots on the stove, including one that contained grease, he said.

Deputy 1st Class Jeff Miller said he was in the neighborhood returning a stolen bike when he saw smoke coming out of a house. As he got closer, he realized it was the neighboring house that was on fire.

Miller said neighbors were trying to coax the resident out of the house, but she wouldn't leave.

Jamie Moats, 27; Brenda Dattilio, 41; and Dattilio's daughter, Ashley Cooper, 20, all tried to get the woman to leave, they said.

"She was holding on (to the back door) and wouldn't let go," said Dattilio, who is a member of the Halfway fire company.

Miller said he "grabbed ahold of her and pulled her out."

"She kept saying her dog was in there," Miller said.

Ernst said the Chihuahua did not survive the fire.

Sgt. James Ridgely of the Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway was the first firefighter in the door.

He said it was dark and smoky inside, and fire was going up the walls and across the ceiling.

The fire damaged the kitchen and the living room, Ernst said.

About 37 firefighters responded to the fire, Ernst said. Fire departments from Halfway, Williamsport and Funkstown responded, as well as the Washington County Air Unit, Washington County Rehab Unit and Washington County Special Operations.

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