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Three fires at Pa. house deemed accidental

August 30, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • This home at 485 East Ave. in State Line, Pa., caught fire three times between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

STATE LINE, Pa. -- Three fires at one house in Antrim Township, Pa., over the weekend were a series of accidents, a Pennsylvania State Police investigator said Monday.

Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. Fire Capt. Mike Luger said Sunday that the first fire at 485 East Ave. started around 8:45 p.m. Saturday. Another was reported at 9:44 p.m. Saturday and the third at 1:17 a.m. Sunday.

Firefighters were called to the second and third fires, but not the first, Luger said.

Trooper Frank Hershey said none of the fires was the result of arson.

One started with towels next to a stove and another when candles ignited curtains. Fire traveled behind walls, Hershey said.

Firefighters turned the electricity breakers off late Saturday, but residents switched a few on when trying to get light to find some clothing early Sunday, Hershey said.

"There were some bare wires that caused some arcing," he said.

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The structure remained standing, but it was uninhabitable, Hershey said.

Luger said six people were staying in the house and planned to contact friends and family for shelter.

The address matches one listed in court documents for Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr., who is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on a charge of criminal homicide. The connection to Miles, who is incarcerated, appears to be unrelated to the fires, Hershey said.

"It has no involvement in it," he said.

Hershey said he and fire officials were moving around the debris Monday. Their movement and the sun caused some small pockets of smoldering, but there wasn't any significant rekindling, he said.

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