Two people displaced in State Line house fire

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

The tenants of the house at 15594 Pennsylvania Ave. have found temporary living accommodations with a friend following a fire Thursday afternoon.  Only one person was home when the fire broke out. Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. responded to the 1:06 p.m. call.

Stephen “Lulu” Hegstrom, who rented a bedroom on the main floor, found out what was happening when he received a phone call at his job, Pony Express in Hagerstown, Md.

“My friend said, ‘Your house is on fire.’ That’s a heck of a phone call,” he said.

He raced to State Line to see smoke coming from the second floor master bedroom rented by the other tenant. That man was safe.

RHC was aided by fire departments and emergency medical services from Long Meadow, Maugansville, Hagerstown, Leitersburg and Marion. They had the blaze out within 20 minutes, said 2nd Lt. Kyle Mellott. No one was injured in the event.

Damage was extensive in the upstairs bedroom, said witness Matt Courtney, who had spoken to the other tenant and walked through the property. That man had been in the room working on a hobby which used linseed oil. The project required heating the oil, which burst into flame. The man tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher, then ran to get a hose. By the time he returned to the room, the fire was too widespread, said Courtney.

From speaking to firefighters, Hegstrom thought his room came away intact, but the house was uninhabitable until windows could be replaced, and repairs made. The kitchen, located under the master bedroom, sustained major water damage.

Mellott said the fire marshall would not be called to investigate the cause of the fire unless asked to do so by the owner. Courtney and Hegstrom identified the owner as Kevin Polca.

Fire police rerouted motorists at Hykes Road and Mason-Dixon Road. They disbanded and the last of the fire trucks rolled away at 2:15 p.m.