Two-alarm blaze causes $100,000 damage to home, a former 1893 schoolhouse

No one injured in fire northeast of Taneytown

January 21, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A two-alarm fire near Taneytown early yesterday heavily damaged Blacks No. 7 Schoolhouse, whose cornerstone dates to 1893, authorities said.

The one-room schoolhouse in the 2900 block of Blacks Schoolhouse Road was long ago converted to a home with an addition built on the back, neighbors said.

An occupant, Mark Yingling, and Dean Grimes, the owner, escaped the blaze without injury at 5 a.m., said Sharon Eiler, spokeswoman for Taneytown Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1.

Craig Austin, assistant chief, was the first on the scene northeast of Taneytown and reported flames engulfing 70 percent of the house. A second alarm was sounded at 5: 08 a.m.

The blaze was brought under control in 40 minutes by about 50 firefighters from eight volunteer companies in Carroll and Adams County, Pa., Eiler said.

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

State fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze, which started in the rear of the house, authorities said.

Red Cross workers responded to assist the displaced occupants, Eiler said.

Jay Graybeal, director of the Historical Society of Carroll County, said information on the old schoolhouse is sketchy.

Site maps from 1862 show schools existed at various sites in the vicinity, Graybeal said.

Research shows Benjamin Kemper, a carpenter who lived in the area, was paid $725 to build a brick schoolhouse, Graybeal said. The contract was dated May 1893, he said.

No information was available on the name of the schoolhouse, Graybeal said. Black apparently was the name of a family in the vicinity, he surmised.

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