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Massive fire in Carlisle found to be accidental - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

Massive fire in Carlisle found to be accidental

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CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

A massive fire that destroyed two buildings and damaged several others at the former Lear complex in Carlisle last week has been ruled accidental, according to investigators.

State police fire marshal Eric Keebaugh said Monday that the fire started in a second-floor storage unit where demolition crews had been conducting metal and steel removal.

A news release from Keebaugh did not indicate how the fire started.

Damage is estimated at $200,000.

More than 100 firefighters from five counties responded to the blaze shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday and fought for hours to bring it under control.

Several residents who live along Fairground Avenue were evacuated as a precaution because of the heat from the flames, smoke in the air, and water from the dozens of fire companies on the scene.

The complex was built by C.H. Masland and Sons and was most recently occupied by International Automotive Components, or IAC.

Carlisle Events, the owners of the fairgrounds, bought the property in November of 2010 and plan to redevelop it.

In a statement, Carlisle Events spokesman Michael Garland said the company is evaluating its  alternatives since the fire destroyed a large portion of the complex.

"Our long-term goals remain to redevelop the property into something that best fits both Carlisle Events and the community as a whole," Garland said. "To that, we want cleanup to commence as soon as possible.  In the meanwhile, we will continue to provide 24-hour security to the property and ask that anyone who is attending our event this weekend and weekends going forward be respectful of our neighbors and the security guards by avoiding the complex all together."

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