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Officials: Unattended food on stove caused Millers Church Road fire

March 03, 2011

Unattended food on a stove has been listed as the preliminary cause of a fire that caused extensive damage to a house on Millers Church Road north of Hagerstown on Wednesday, state fire officials said.

The fire caused about $75,000 in damages to the house and $25,000 in damages to contents of the house, Kristen Nieberlein of the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office said in a news release.

There were smoke alarms in the house but they were not operating, Nieberlein said.

Barbara Hosfeld, who has lived in the ranch-style home since 1989, said at the scene Wednesday afternoon that she believed a pan of grease caught fire.

Hosfeld said her son, Richard Hosfeld, had been making French fries and returned to his room when the fire occurred.

Three cats and two dogs died in the fire, Barbara Hosfeld said.

The fire caused extensive damage to the rear of the house. High winds Wednesday afternoon caused the fire to spread rapidly, a fire official said.

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