Five-alarm fire in Williamsport engulfs liquor store

A liquor store in Williamsport, Maryland caught fire Monday morning. (Photo: Michael Pannill)

A liquor store in Williamsport, Maryland caught fire Monday morning, causing more than $500,000 in damage.

Firefighters battled the five-alarm blaze at a historic building that now houses the liquor store and apartments near the intersection of Conococheague and Potomac streets.

More than a hundred firefighters from multiple towns and counties helped put the fire out. The fire was caused by a faulty oil burning furnace.

"This was a hotel during the days of the Civil War,” said Williamsport Mayor James McCleaf. “Robert E. Lee actually mounted his horse here for the last time. There is a rock right outside the store here that before he crossed the Potomac, he was on northern soil for the last time."

Because of the building's age and because it has so many open spaces, the fire was able to spread quickly.

No one was injured. But it was quite the scare for an elderly woman living inside, who was able to get out just in time.

One firefighter got stuck in some wiring but crews were able to pull him out.

Town resident and historian Joan Knode said the building dates back to the Civil War,the Herald-Mail reported.

The liquor store in the building at 1 W. Potomac St. previously was Wolfe's on the Square. Wolfe's opened as a lunch counter in 1921.

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