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W. Antietam St. at site of building fire has reopened

Building damaged in Feb. 7 blaze deemed safe after top floor removed

February 25, 2013

The unit block of West Antietam Street in Hagerstown was reopened to traffic Monday.

City officials closed the street more than two weeks ago to let engineers examine the structural integrity of a building at 19-21-23 W. Antietam St. that was gutted by a fire on Feb. 7.

Hagerstown spokeswoman Erin Wolfe said the building was deemed safe after workers finished removing the top floor.

Ernest L. Stitely Jr., 26, was charged with fourth-degree burglary, reckless endangerment, causing fire through negligence and failing to notify the fire department of an unwanted fire, according to a city news release that was issued Feb. 12.

Fire marshals said Stitely admitted to starting a fire in a bathtub in the building to stay warm. Stitely told investigators he fled the building when the flames spread out of control.

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