Illegal heater ignites clothes, kills 5-year-old

November 18, 1991

A 5-year-old Northwest Baltimore girl was killed Saturday night when an illegal kerosene heater placed near her bed ignited a pile of clothing, authorities said yesterday.

Firefighters found the body of Talia A. Boyd on the floor near her bed on the third floor of her family's home in the 3000 block of Chelsea Terrace.

She apparently died of smoke inhalation, officials said.

Talia's mother, Brenda Boyd, was the only other person in the house and escaped without injury when the one-alarm fire broke out shortly past 11 p.m.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in minutes, and it caused only about $5,000 in damage, officials said.

Although the use of kerosene space heaters is illegal in the city, Deputy Fire Chief William P. Langan said he expects to see more heaters being used -- and igniting fires -- this winter.

"With the economy being the way it is, there is a good chance we will find more people using them," he said.

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