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Overheated toaster started duplex fire in Halfway

March 05, 2013
  • Firefighters were on the scene of a house fire at 931 Harwood Road in Halfway Monday night.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HALFWAY — An overheated toaster started a fire that caused $25,000 in damages to a two-story duplex Monday at 931 Harwood Road in Halfway, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office said.

The fire, which was reported at 6:03 p.m. by the occupant, caused $20,000 in damages to the structure and $5,000 in damages to the contents, according to a Fire Marshal’s Office news release.

Authorities said 47 firefighters from Halfway, Funkstown and Hagerstown took 15 minutes to get the fire under control.

Smoke detectors were present and activated, the Fire Marshal’s Office said.

The owner of the duplex is John Frantz.

Nick Dattilio, chief of The Vol. Fire Company of Halfway. said the fire started in the kitchen and spread to the outside of the home, shooting up the rear siding by the time fire crews arrived. Smoke was visible from the outside of the home, he said.

Halfway’s ladder truck was extended up in the air at the front of the home to provide light and an additional ladder was placed at the front of the home to an upstairs window.

A large fan had been placed near the open front door to ventilate the building.

Dattilio said the occupants of the home had returned as crews with flashlights inspected the interior of the home about 7 p.m.

Fire trucks lined most of Harwood Road up to the intersection with Virginia Avenue. The section of road was temporarily closed to traffic.

— C.J. Lovelace

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Editor's note: This story was updated on March 7 to reflect John Frantz as the owner of the duplex.

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