Four people, including one firefighter, were taken to the hospital and one person remained unnaccounted for after fire broke out this afternoon in a three-story house at 334 Summit Ave., according to Erin Wolfe, spokesperson for the City of Hagerstown.
The fire was reported at about 12:40 p.m. and heavy smoke was still present at 2:15 p.m.
James Burns, who owns the home and lives next door at 326 Summit Ave., said a family of three lived in an upstairs apartment of the home.
Burns said he saw smoke and asked a neighbor to call 911. Burns said he entered the building, where he found the male resident, who was able to escape. Burns said he did not see the woman or child who lived there.
Burns said he tried to direct firefighters with a ladder truck to a third-floor window in an attempt to reach anyone who might be inside.
“They’re good people. I hope everyone is alright,” Burns said.
A tenant of a downstairs apartment was believed to be away on a business trip, Burns said.
A ladder truck sprayed water into windows on the top floor and firefighters broke glass to enter the home. The doors to the home also were broken down to gain entry.
A small child and an adult male were taken from the home and left the scene in an ambulance. A firefighter from The Volunteer Fire Co. of Halfway was taken to the hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion, Wolfe said.
Firefighters said they had a good supply of water, but when it got low they began to bring in water from the lake at City Park.
The house sits at the corner of Summit Avenue and Sycamore Street, near the railroad tracks at Park Circle.
Jeffrey Lynn, who owns Park Circle Service Center, said he saw flames 10 feet high shooting from the roof before firefighters arrived. He also said he saw a cat jump from a third-floor window.
“It wobbled a little, but it looked like it was OK,” Lynn said.
Heavy smoke from the fire could be seen from downtown.
Several streets are closed in the area.
Hagerstown Police detectives and Deputy State’s Attorney Joe Michael were on the scene.