A 44-year-old man trying to rescue two occupants of a burning West Baltimore rowhouse last night was critically injured when he became trapped by the blaze.
The unidentified man was under treatment for smoke inhalation early today at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, authorities said.
A young woman the man was trying to save was rescued by firefighters from the second floor of the rowhouse in the 2200 block of Division Street.
Another man, who also was on the second floor, managed to get out by himself, said Fire Department Battalion Chief Heinbuch.
Both were being treated at University Hospital.
Fire officials said the one-alarm fire, which originated in a first-floor kitchen, was reported at 11:23 p.m. and burned out the interior of the two-story building in less than half an hour.
The cause was under investigation this morning.
A firefighter at the scene said the initial call was not for a fire, but for a malfunctioning furnace. "When we got here, there was smoke everywhere," he said.
Chief Heinbuch said the critically injured man left the house when the fire started but went back inside to rescue the others.
"He got stuck behind the fire," the chief said, adding that the man was rescued by firefighters. "We thought he was dead until we got him out and got a look at him," the chief said.