WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD - Deputy State Fire Marshal's have determined the cause for the six alarm fire that destroyed a three-story building in Williamsport.
Investigators determined the accidental fire started inside a neighboring building housing an oil burning furnace that provided heat to the three-story building.
Officials say the cause of the fire was determined to be the result of a mechanical failure involving the furnace. They say the blaze ignited parts of the porch roof and subsequently traveled throughout the remaining parts of the building.
The fire was initially reported at 7:15 a.m. Monday morning at 100 N. Conococheague Street.
Police say a resident, Dolly Gray, smelled smoke and called 911. Gray told WHAG she's lived in the apartment for 25 years.
Gray said she ran out through the smoke only grabbing her purse. She says, other than the clothes on her back, she's lost everything. Gray was able to escape without injury and is being assisted by the Red Cross.
Washington County Emergency Services Coordinator Kevin Lewis managed the scene. Officials say that Wolfe's On The Square has been completely destroyed in the fire.
The three-story wood framed structure contained the L&J Discount Liquor Store, one occupied apartment on the first floor, and four vacant apartments on the second and third floors.
About 100 firefighters from Washington, Allegany, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties assisted units from Morgan, W. Va., and Berkeley, W.Va., fire departments with controlling the blaze.
Conococheague Street and North Artizan Street were both closed for an extended period of time.
Luckily, no injuries have been reported.
A preliminary value loss for the structure built in 1900 is estimated at $500,000.