Others flee to safety in morning fire at two-story city rowhouse.


October 14, 1991|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff William B. Talbott and Joe Nawrozki contributed to this story.

A 25-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son were killed early today when a fire raced through their two-story row house in the 1700 block of E. 30th St., police said.

A 78-year-old woman, who with two others got out of the house, suffered second-degree burns over nearly 15 percent of her body and was listed in critical condition at the regional burn unit at Francis Scott Key Medical Center, police said.

An unidentified firefighter was injured and treated at the scene.

Officer Perry Stanfield and fire officials said the fire began in the center of the basement around an electrical light fixture shortly before 4 a.m. and quickly raced throughout the house.

Stanfield identified the dead as Patricia Thomas and her son, Michael Johnson. Thomas was found on the floor in a second-floor back bedroom at the foot of the bed. Michael was lying on the bed at the foot of the bed.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

George Turner, 76; Catherine Eubanks, 78, and Maurice Thomas, 10, Patricia Thomas' son, got out out the second floor front window of the house at 1735 E. 30th St. and walked over the porch roofs of three houses to 1731 E. 30th and got in the house there.

Eubanks was taken to Key Burn Center with second degree burns to the buttocks, arms, chest and left leg. Turner and Maurice Thomas were not injured.

Stanfield and Officer Jon Foote were unable to get into the house because of heavy flames and smoke.

"We tried," Stanfield said, "but the flames were too much."

A neighbor, James Louis, of 1731 E. 30th St., said he let the three survivors into his house after they walked across porch roofs connecting the houses in the block.

The fire was reported at 3:59 a.m. and declared under control at 4:49 a.m.

The Rev. James Howard, pastor of the Marantha Baptist Church in the 900 block of E. Preston St., lives across the street from the scene of the fire.

"I was awaken by flashing lights and sirens and when I looked out my upper bedroom window I saw nothing but flames and smoke coming out of the first floor front windows," said Howard.

He said he could feel the heat from across the street.

Howard said he saw firefighters carry Eubanks away on a stretcher. "I hope she'll be all right," he said.

Howard said he would pray for the dead and the survivors.

Capt. Patrick P. Flynn, Fire Department spokesman, said there was a working smoke detector in the house and an escape plan, which allowed the three residents to get out.

Damage caused by the fire was estimated at $60,000, Stanfield said.

Fourteen pieces of equipment and 42 firefighters responded.

Twenty-nine people have died in fires in the city this year, Flynn said, compared to 23 at the same time last year.

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.