A three-alarm fire raced through an exclusive hotel complex in Hunt Valley last night, causing an estimated $500,000 damage and forcing the safe evacuation of one guest, a Baltimore County fire official said today.
In other fires in Baltimore and Baltimore County early today and yesterday, an elderly man was critically burned and 29 residents of a Rosedale apartment complex escaped safely.
Also, two area landmarks were damaged by blazes believed to have been intentionally set. A three-alarm fire heavily damaged a building at the vacant American Brewery complex in East Baltimore and a blaze early today caused serious damage to the Overlea Diner in the 6600 block of Belair Road.
County Battalion Chief Ralph Nelson said a fire started on the second floor of a unit of suites at the Marriott Residence Inn in the 10000 block of Beaver Dam Road about 6 p.m.
Mr. Nelson said the first firefighters who responded quickly sounded two additional alarms because flames had broken through the roof of a building containing eight hotel suites. The fire was under control within an hour, he said.
Two of the units were destroyed, he said, and two others were heavily damaged. Four units on the first floor suffered water and smoke damage, Mr. Nelson said.
Cause of the fire was accidental, he said.
The inn was opened in 1987 after a fire severely damaged some buildings that were under construction.
Mr. Nelson said 29 residents of Park East Apartments in Rosedale who were evacuated yesterday when a two-alarm blaze swept through their building were relocated in other units today.
He said three apartments were destroyed and others were damaged by fire, smoke and water.
The fire was believed to have been started by a child playing with a lighter in an apartment in the 2100 block of Flintshire Road.
In the city, Vincent Reynolds, 71, of the 2800 block of Harford Road, was in critical condition today at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center's burn center after suffering second-degree burns over half of his body, said city Fire Department spokesman Capt. Patrick P. Flynn.
Mr. Reynolds was rescued from the roof of the front porch of his two-story brick rowhouse after flames had punched through the building's roof shortly before 5 a.m.
Captain Flynn said the fire apparently started after a burning cigarette ignited a bed on the second floor.
Arson investigators said a blaze that early today heavily damaged the Overlea Diner was intentionally set.
Someone broke through a rear door shortly after 3 a.m. to gain entrance to the diner, a familiar spot for several decades, Captain Flynn said. He said the intruder robbed the cigarette machine and then set fire to a rear storage room.
Damage to the diner is estimated as $30,000, Captain Flynn said.
And an arsonist set a three-alarm fire that caused heavy damage yesterday to a building at the old American Brewery complex in the 1600 block of N. Gay St., he said.
Most of the complex, originally built in 1887 to house the John Frederick Wiessner brewery, was not burned, Captain Flynn said.