Fire figthers from Md. and WV responded.
About 100 fire fighters responded to a building fire in Williamsport Monday morning. Personnel from Washington, Frederick Allegheny and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, and Morgan and Berkeley Counties in West Virginia, responded to 110 Conococheague Street, a three-story building which housed L&J Liquors, an occupied apartment on the first floor, and four vacant units on the second and third floors.
"The occupant of the building that lives on the first floor apartment smelled the odor of smoke entering her apartment, and promptly notified 911," says Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch. He says that person was able to get out of her apartment without injury. She is being assisted by the Red Cross.
Bouch says fire fighters managed to get the bulk of the fire knocked down, but remained on the scene to put out hot spots. "So that's there no possibility of any flare ups, or potential for embers moving from that location to another structure nearby,"he says.
He also noted that many fire fighters were called to the scene from as far away as Montgomery and Allegheny Counties. "Apparently, there may be some water issues, and they've requested additional tankers to come to the scene so that they can utilize the tanker task force to continue the flow of water for the necessary extinguishment," says Bouch.
Right now, a preliminary damage estimate has been set at $500,000, but that could change, he says.
Investigators with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office say the fire originated in an outbuilding which housed an oil furnace that heated the store and the apartments. They say the cause of the fire was a mechanical failure in the oil furnace.
The building is believed to have been constructed originally in 1900.