WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (AP) — Maryland fire officials are blaming a mechanical failure for a fire that caused an estimated half-million dollars in damage to a downtown Williamsport building.

The state fire marshal’s office says the five-alarm fire was reported Monday morning in an outbuilding that housed an oil-burning furnace at the former Wolfe’s on the Square building.

Kevin Lewis, director of the Washington County Emergency Services, tells the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown that no residents or firefighters were injured. But one firefighter did fall and become entangled in wires, prompting a “mayday” distress call.

Joan Knode, a town councilmember and historian, says the building dates back to the Civil War. She called the building “a piece of history.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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