Arson leaves four families homeless

March 18, 1991|By Michael James

Four families living in a North Baltimore apartment building managed by Irish Realty Co. had no cause to celebrate St. Patrick's Day as they fled a fire believed set by an arsonist.

"No one here's got the luck of the Irish tonight," said 25-year-old Evan Turner, who, along with his wife and four children, lost nearly all his possessions. "My kids even lost their coats and schoolbooks."

The fire began about 4:10 p.m. in a three-story stone apartment building in the 5200 block of York Road in the city's Govans section. Investigators said a flammable liquid was ignited on the building's wooden fire escape.

No one was injured in the blaze. Red Cross officials were helping the approximately 25 residents find temporary shelter last night.

Investigators said they had no suspect in connection with the blaze.

Mr. Turner and other tenants being interviewed by the Red Crosssaid they lost nearly all their furnishings, as well as family picture albums and personal items.

The fire broke out while many of the tenants were watching the NCAA college basketball tournament together on television. Some had just returned from St. Patrick's Day activities.

"No one's going to want to play any music or march in any parades after this," said Randolph Johnson, 44, who lived at the apartment building with his sister.

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