On This Day in FFD History

August 26, 2016 Events  No comments

Reprinted from the Cumberland Evening Times – Page 21, Wednesday, August 25, 1976


A Frostburg State College graduate student sustained second and third degree burns in a fire which swept through a frame, single-family dwelling at 270 East Main Street, Frostburg early today.
Patrick McKenna, whose home address was listed as 2009 Grace Church Street, Silver Spring, was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital for treatment and then transported by Frostburg area Ambulance to Hagerstown where it was reported a State Police helicopter was to fly the victim to the Burn Center at the University of Maryland Hospital, Baltimore.

Treated and released from the local hospital was David Lowe, 21 of Pittsburgh.

The building is owned by Shaw Halliday, who resides in an apartment in the rear of the property, according to Robert H. Shimer, fire investigator for Allegany and Garrett counties, with the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Four male students occupied the dwelling. Besides the burn victim, they are Lowe, Kurt Humbertson and Gregory Pappas. The Pappas youth reportedly discovered the fire and exited through a rear door. At the same time, Janet Sowers who resides at 272 East Main Street, heard glass breaking and saw the fire. She notified her parents who called the Frostburg Volunteer Fire Department at 4:20 a.m.

Mr. Shimer said the fire originated in the kitchen and the cause is under investigation. He also reported extensive fire damage to the kitchen and bedroom area along with smoke damage on the second floor.

Shaft Volunteers stood by at Frostburg while Frostburg Fire Chief had six pieces of equipment and about 40 men at the scene. The blaze was under control in 10 minutes.

Mr. Shimer said McKenna was found in an upstairs bedroom. It was reported that Thomas Miller of Frostburg assisted removing the badly burned victim from the house.

Frostburg ambulances transported the injured to the local hospital, and Civil Defense Headquarters here assisted with communications.

FFD NOTE: An excerpt from J. Suter Kegg’s “Tapping The Keg” in the Cumberland Evening Times, Wednesday, September 3, 1976.
In the early morning of August 25th a fire of undetermined origin swept through the residence of Pat and several of his friends on Main Street in Frostburg. A deep sleeper, Pat was not aroused by the heavy smoke and flames which followed a path from the kitchen, where the fire started, into his bedroom through an open door.

By the time members of the Frostburg Fire Department got to him, he had suffered burns over 90 percent of his body in addition to internal damage caused by inhalation of the fiery pall. He died several days later in the Burn Center of University Hospital, Baltimore.


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