Eighteen people escaped injury last night when a two-alarm fire raced through three rowhouses in the city's Westport section.
Two firefighters sustained minor injuries battling the fire that reportedly began when furniture stored on a back porch caught fire.
The fire has been ruled suspicious and is under investigation.
Reported at 1:06 a.m., the fire caused extensive damage to 2319 and 2321 Annapolis Road and moderate damage to 2323.
Satrena Hawkins, 27, of 2319, said that shortly after she checked the back of the house around 12:30 a.m., she saw flames coming from the back porch where three pieces of furniture were being stored.
Ms. Hawkins; John Dodson, 31; Ellen Morris, 32; and seven children, ranging from 4 months to 17 years old, fled out the front door as flames engulfed the back of the house, the interior and the roof before entering the other two houses.
Tangerine Stokes, 32, of 2323, said she didn't know the house two doors away was burning until she heard the fire engines stopping in front of her house.
Ms. Stokes, along with Enrico Bell, 11, Franco Harris, 5, and Franklin Scott, 31, got out safely, as did four residents of 2321.