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Woman in critical condition after fire at N. Cannon Ave. home

The victim initially made it outside but went back into the house to rescue some of her pets

May 24, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN and DON AINES | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com; dona@herald-mail.com
  • As flames shoot through the roof of a duplex at 110-112 N. Cannon Ave. in Hagerstown, firefighters use a ladder truck to battle Wednesday morning's blaze.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A two-alarm fire destroyed a duplex on Cannon Avenue in Hagerstown Wednesday morning, sending one of the residents to the hospital with burns and closing nearby streets.

The fire apparently began at the 110 Cannon Ave. side of the duplex and traveled to the 112 side.

When firefighters arrived at around 10 a.m., an occupant of the house, a woman who appeared to be in her 40s, was already outside, city  spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said.

The woman was later identified as Donna Delosier, Wolfe said in a news release Wednesday evening. She had initially made it outside, but went back into the burning house to rescue some of her pets, the release said.

Two dogs were rescued, but several other pets remained unaccounted for, the release said.

“She had several pets in the house,” Wolfe said in the release.

She came out with one of the dogs in her arms, Wolfe said at the scene.

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Delosier appeared to have burns on about 15 percent of her body, the release said.

She was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, and then transferred to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore for treatment of burns to her upper body, the release said.

Delosier was in critical condition Thursday morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Flames and heavy smoke poured from the house for more than an hour after the fire call went out at 9:55 a.m. It went to a second alarm about 25 minutes into the incident, Wolfe said at the scene.

The roof eventually collapsed, and a firefighter on a ladder truck ran a hose into the gaping hole.
The last units cleared the scene at about 5 p.m., the release said.

Hagerstown Fire Marshal Doug DeHaven said the fire was contained to the duplex, and that the building appeared to be a total loss.

DeHaven said at the scene late Wednesday morning that the cause was undetermined, and it would be hours before investigators could enter the building.

Members of the fire marshal’s office will return to the scene this morning to continue the investigation, the release said.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said he believed the smoke was so heavy because a lot of items were stored in the house.

Neighbors stood outside watching the firefighters’ efforts, and many were shooting photos with cameras and cellphones.

Will Mulieri, who works at Roto-Rooter, which is on the other side of the street, said a woman came running out screaming that her house was on fire.

Firefighters were attacking the blaze from the outside because the interior was “not easily navigable,” and there were safety concerns about sending them inside, Wolfe said at the scene.

Standing a few doors north of the fire was a man holding a small black dog. He said he and his mother lived in 112 Cannon Ave., the other half of the duplex, and had been told their home was a total loss.

The man, who appeared to be in his 20s, declined to give his name. His mother was in a neighbor’s house talking with Red Cross officials, he said.

“I just smelled smoke ... then the fire alarm went off,” the man said. “I went downstairs real quick. There was nothing but black smoke.”

North Cannon Avenue will be temporarily closed to through traffic from Franklin Street to Liberty Street until further notice, but local traffic will be allowed access so residents can reach their homes, the release said.

The Hagerstown Fire Department was assisted by units from the Funkstown, Halfway, Long Meadow, Williamsport, and Maugansville Goodwill fire companies, as well as a unit from the Franklin Fire Co. in Chambersburg, Pa. Also at the scene were the Washington County Air Unit, county Rehab Unit, Special Operations and Community Rescue Service.

Other fire companies transferred into city stations to provide coverage during the blaze.

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