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Hagerstown Apartment Fire Sees Over 120 Tenants Evacuated

October 22nd, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated an incident involving a burn injury victim from a kitchen fire inside her second floor apartment located at the Francis Murphy Senior Apartments at 20014 Rosebank Way in Hagerstown.

The incident was reported at 6:16 p.m. after the activation of the fire alarm and residential fire sprinkler system. The victim, Mary V. Rideout (77) had mistakenly turned on the rear burner of the stovetop which had a pot of cooking oil located on it while preparing for a meal. The oil heated rapidly and began to burn before being noticed. The victim then quickly removed the pot from the stove to the sink and in the course of that action caused burning oil to splash to the floor and subsequently ignited her hair on fire. The quick acting fire sprinkler head in the kitchen properly activated and extinguished the flames preventing the victim from receiving life threatening burn injuries. She was treated for 1st degree minor burns on her hands received from the heated oil. One neighbor was transported to a local hospital for minor smoke inhalation injuries received while trying to assist the victim outside of her apartment.

Multiple local fire departments responded to the scene to facilitate the temporary evacuation of 123 tenants from the 120 units in the three-story apartment complex. Four tenants have been temporarily displaced as result of the incident. Damages to the structure and contents were limited to $5,000.

The State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci stated, “This is another example of the effectiveness and value of these life saving devices."

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