One Dead in Four-Alarm E. Franklin Street House Fire

- HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Officials with the Hagerstown City Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of a four-alarm house fire that took the life of one person Thursday night. 

Multiple crews were called to the scene around 8 p.m. for a fire reported at 44 East Franklin Street in Hagerstown. 

Fire officials initially indicated one person was trapped inside the house. Eventually, they say the fire went into a four-alarm status with crews from Washington, Frederick and Franklin Counties on the scene. Crews went inside the burning building attempting to extinguish the fire and search for the reported victim. 

However, crews say the fire was well advanced and forced them out of the building. They had to continue the attack of the fire from the outside. During this, all occupants were accounted for expect for one. 

Eventually crews were able to enter back into the house and worked aggressively to extinguish the blaze. Firefighters worked for several hours into early Friday morning to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. The fire spread from the house to three other structures, and damages are extensive.

Fire officials say the missing person was found inside a first floor apartment in the rear of the building. The medical examiner was called to the scene to investigate and handled recovery and removal of the body. The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for identification. 

Two firefighters were injured while on the scene. One was taken to Meritus Medical Center for minor injuries. He's since been released. The other firefighter was treated on the scene Thursday night. 

WHAG has been told 11 units in total have been affected, nine of those were occupied. 

Red Cross is providing assistance for eight families, and another family meeting is scheduled for Saturday. A resident affected by the fire said Red Cross was giving out $190 gift cards Thursday night. 

The Hagerstown City Fire Marshal's Office is the lead agency in the investigation of the fire. They're being assisted by the Hagerstown Police Department and the Hagerstown Police Department Criminal Investigation Division. At this point in time, fire officials say it appears the cause was accidental. 

More than 115 firefighters responded to the fire Thursday night, with more than 19 companies from Washington County, Maryland, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, assisting the Hagerstown Fire Department. 

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