A homeowner awoke before smoke alarms sounded, permitting a family of three to make a safe escape from a fast-moving blaze early Monday morning, Cashtown Fire Chief Jeff Bowling said.

The residence in the 600 block of Mount Carmel Road was a “total loss” as the result of the fire, Bowling said.

“There was heavy fire throughout the mobile home” when firefighters arrived after the 2:39 a.m. dispatch, Bowling said.

Firefighters entered the structure, but were ordered out for their own safety due to the threat of a roof collapse, he said.

Fire companies continued to attack the blaze from the exterior and had it under control within about 20 minutes, Bowling said.

The homeowner, who declined treatment for a minor eyebrow laceration, awoke and saw a “flickering” light, Bowling said. The man got up and saw a separate room attached to the mobile home was “well involved with fire,” Bowling said.

Smoke alarms were sounding when officials arrived.

“I told him, ‘You’re lucky you woke up,’” Bowling said.

The man went to a neighbor’s residence to get help, but the fire “spread very rapidly,” Bowling said. Fire destroyed about 80 percent of the structure, with heavy smoke, heat, and water damage to the rest, rendering it “uninhabitable,” Bowling said.

The Adams County Red Cross assisted the displaced family, he said.

Firefighters drew water from a creek across the road from the residence. Recent “heavy rains came to our advantage for once,” Bowling said. The home was about 300 feet from the road, he said.

Personnel remained on the scene until 6:38 a.m., according to the Adams County Department of Emergency Services (ACDES). Firefighters conducted extensive “overhaul” to make sure no “hot spots” remained, Bowling said.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation, but there was nothing suspicious, Bowling said.

Fire companies on the scene in Franklin Township also included Fairfield, Arendtsville, Gettysburg, Biglerville, Emmitsburg, and Buchanan Valley as well as Adams Regional Emergency Medical Services, Bowling said. Also dispatched, according to ACDES, were South Mountain firefighters.

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