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Man rescued from house fire on The Terrace listed in critical condition

February 22, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Firefighters prepare to enter a house at 12809 The Terrace.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A man who was rescued from a fire in a single-story brick home at 12809 The Terrace on Tuesday was taken to Meritus Medical Center to be treated for life-threatening injuries, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said.

Delbert G. Summerville, 86, was listed in critical condition at the Hagerstown-area hospital on Tuesday night, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Firefighters found Summerville in cardiac arrest near a basement door, the fire marshal's office said. He was given cardio-pulmonary resuscitation before being taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and first- and second-degree burns.

Summerville and his wife were home when they saw smoke coming from the  basement, the fire marshal's office said. As Summerville tried to find the cause of the smoke, his wife called out to him and didn't receive an answer, the release said. She went to a neighbor's home to call 911.

Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Jason Eckstine said firefighters had to make a forced entry into the home. The man's wife was outside when firefighters arrived and refused to be taken to the hospital, Eckstine said.

"The rescue was made in the first two or three minutes of our arrival," Eckstine said. "The fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes."

Eckstine said firefighters got a call at 10:16 a.m. that a man was trapped in the basement of a burning home in the 12800 block of The Terrace, which is just north of Hagerstown city limits. He said snow and ice that covered some roadways slowed their arrival, and the fire was spreading quickly when they reached the home.

Eckstine said about half of the basement and half of the first floor of the house were destroyed by heat and smoke. A stairwell leading from the basement to the first floor also was destroyed.

The fire started in a workshop area of the basement, and the exact cause is still under investigation, the fire marshal's office said. The damage was estimated at about $40,000.

In addition to Longmeadow, firefighters from Maugansville and Hagerstown responded, as did Community Rescue Service and Washington County Emergency Services.

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