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McKinstrys Mill couple's home burns

A 57-year-old McKinstrys Mill farmer and his 45-year-old wife lost their second home in 10 years to a fire that destroyed their century-old log house on Sunday.

Albert and Nancy Runkles were working on their dairy farm in the 1400 block of McKinstrys Mill Road when the fire was discovered by a passing motorist about 3:30 p.m.

The intense blaze caused about $50,000 damage to the Runkleses' house and personal property, according to deputy chief state fire marshal Bob Thomas.

The fire started in a defective chimney at the first-floor ceiling level of the three-story farmhouse. A fire in a wood stove in the living room was the primary source used to heat the building, Mr. Thomas said, adding that they had been burned out about 10 years before. He gave no other details on the first fire.

More than 50 firefighters from Union Bridge, New Windsor, Winfield, New Midway and Libertytown battled the blaze for more than an hour before it was declared under control.

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