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Harpers Fery fire destroys building, businesses

By Staff | Jul 23, 2015

Businesses and residences in Lower Town Harpers Ferry were heavily damaged by fire in the early morning hours. At least three buildings housing up to eight businesses as well as apartments were involved in the fire.

Firefighters remain on the scene in Lower Town Harpers Ferry this morning where fire has destroyed several buildings and displaced businesses and residents. At least three buildings have been destroyed and up to eight businesses lost in the fire that began in the early morning hours.

Firefighters were dispatched to the three-alarm fire at approximately 3:15 a.m. Reports indicated that the fire was fully involved in the 100 block of High Street when the first responders arrived. Buildings on Potomac Street, across from the Harpers Ferry Train Station were also damaged and/or destroyed. The complete damage estimate will come later; however, for many businesses, this is a total loss.

John Maxey, who owned and operated Data Direct, on Potomac Street, lost his business.

“We got a call from our alarm company around 3:30 this morning,” Maxey said, “telling us smoke detectors were going off.” Maxey did not expect to find the tragic scene when he arrived.

Also a total loss was The Vintage Lady, operated by Cindi and Billy Ray Dunn. Cindi posted to her Facebook page this morning the following message:

“It is with great sadness that I tell that Harpers Ferry has suffered a major loss – our building and two others have burned. My heart is so sad for all of us who loved our businesses and the people who came to our beautiful town. Just in our building alone there were five businesses and two apartments. God bless the fireman and all those supporting us. “

Firefighters from all stations in Jefferson County were on scene as were units from Berkeley County, Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland; Loudoun and Frederick counties in Virginia.

There has been no official statement on a cause of the fires. The fire marshal will make preliminary reports as soon as it is safe to evaluate the scene. Until that time, there is no indication of a monetary amount of the loss to businesses or residents.

Fire apparatus will likely remain on the scene through the late hours of the morning into afternoon to monitor hot spots and potential re-igniting of flames.