Pre-dawn fire destroys nearly completed hospice residence

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a blaze that heavily damaged a nearly completed hospice residence in Hagerstown.

A statement from the agency estimates damage to the structure at $3.5 million from the fire early Monday. The agency says nearly 80 firefighters worked for almost three hours to bring the wind-driven flames under control.

The fire was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Monday

The facility with room for 12 patients was to have been finished by Dec. 31.

Hospice of Washington County Chief Executive Eric Klimes says in a statement that the organization will rebuild.

It will be the first hospice residence in Washington County.

Statement from Hospice of Washington County:

Early this morning, there was a fire at Doey’s House, and the facility suffered significant damage.  The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s Office.  Fortunately, no one was injured as a result.

“First and foremost, Hospice of Washington County is very thankful that no one was hurt during the fire,” stated Eric Klimes, CEO of Hospice of Washington County.  “We would like to thank the first responders for all of their tireless efforts. They are truly heroes!”

Mr. Klimes emphasized, “Hospice of Washington County is committed to this critical facet of its mission which is building the first hospice house that will serve all of our residents that are in need. This will result is some delays; however, we will overcome any barriers.  Doey’s House will be completed.  To that end, we will assess the situation and issue a revised construction schedule.”

Hospice of Washington County, Inc. is committed to the mission of serving our community by empowering patients and families to provide quality end-of-life care and grief support for those coping with a life-changing loss.

Doey’s House is being built for residents of Washington County who are in need of inpatient hospice and respite care services.  Care will be delivered with compassion, and we will ensure the dignity of patients at the most vulnerable period in their lives.

According to Tom Newcomer, Chair of the Hospice of Washington County Board of Directors, the campaign for Doey’s House is ongoing. “We really appreciate the outpouring of support for this project,” stated Mr. Newcomer. “We are continuing this campaign, and we encourage others to support the project. Please call 301-791-6360 or go to our website at www.hospiceofwc.org to donate.”

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