Arsonists set blazes at Waverly house, Moravia apartments

January 08, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff

Two arsons occurred last night and early today in the city, causing extensive damage to a previously burned house and to a vacant apartment building, investigators say.

The later fire damaged the second floor of a house in the 1600 block of Gorsuch Ave. in the Waverly area, and an earlier two-alarm blaze caused an estimated $200,000 damage to a vacant apartment building on Relcrest Road near Moravia Park, investigators said.

No injuries were reported in either fire. No one has been arrested.

About 1:25 a.m. today, a single-alarm fire broke out at the Gorsuch Avenue home of James Autry, 37, causing extensive damage to rooms on the second floor and the roof, fire officials said.

Police said the fire apparently was not related to one that broke out in the house about 7 p.m. yesterday when one of Autry's children reportedly set fire to a second-floor bedroom while playing with matches.

Police said the damage from the first fire caused Autry and his family to vacate the house, and they were not home when the second fire broke out. Investigators said it was started by someone who entered through a rear door and set furniture on fire.

The fire was discovered by Northeastern District police officers responding to a "hang-up" call on the 911 emergency line.

When firefighters arrived, they found the upper level of the house engulfed in flames.

The apartment building fire was reported at 10:44 p.m. in a complex in the 5500 block of Relcrest Road. It went to two alarms in 14 minutes.

Investigators said the fire was started by someone who poured a flammable liquid on the stairway between the first and second floors.

Police said the brick building contains six vacant units and is undergoing renovation.

While firefighters carried hoses into the burning building and beat back the flames amid heavy smoke, firefighters on two aerial towers poured water on the fire from above.

Police said the fire was confined to one building. No residents of nearby apartment buildings were forced to evacuate.

The fire was declared under control before midnight and labeled arson by Capt. Robert Hatoff of the fire investigation bureau.

Hatoff said damage to the building's roof and floor was so extensive that crime laboratory technicians were not allowed inside to search for evidence and take photographs of the scene.

Anyone having information about the fires is asked to call the fire department arson squad at 396-5690 or the police arson squad at 396-2645.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.