Man fights fire with garden hose Blaze held at bay till help arrived NORTH--Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

July 28, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A Manchester volunteer firefighter, who was close to a burning house when he heard the alarm, held the fire at bay with a garden hose until reinforcements arrived yesterday.

"I was driving toward Manchester when I heard the alarm on my pager and immediately drove directly to the house [a duplex rancher on Schalk Road No. 1] and saw smoke coming from the building," John Hoffman said.

"I went to the rear and got a garden hose, kicked open the door from the garage to the kitchen-dining room area and saw a blazing sofa."

Mr. Hoffman said he was spraying the sofa and had almost put out the flames when the fire spread to the rug and across the room.

"The engines arrived later and I continued fighting the blaze with them. A junior fireman, Jerry, was there and helped a lot," he said.

Jerry Jones, 14, who lives two doors down the road from the house that burned, said: "I was walking up the road to see Justin [Milligan, who lives in the house that burned] when a man driving a . . . truck skidded to a stop, jumped out and yelled fire.

"He slipped and I ran past him to the house and found that nobody was home, and then I worked with the firefighter to try and put out the fire."

The blaze, which apparently started around the sofa and caused extensive damage to the combination living room, dining room and kitchen, was confined to that area by firefighters from Manchester, Lineboro and Hampstead.

Two of the residents, Debra Milligan and her son, Justin, left the house about noon to drive to Hanover, Pa. The blaze was reported about 1:10 p.m.

Mrs. Milligan returned to the year-old house to find it in flames. She was treated for shock by a paramedic unit from Manchester.

Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to let the heat that had built-up escape before they could bring the flames under control.

No one was injured.

The state deputy fire marshal was investigating to determine the cause of the fire and to estimate the damage.

The blaze did not spread to the adjoining section of the duplex. No one was at home at that dwelling when the fire was discovered.

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