Fire burns building in Walbrook

November 03, 1992|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Staff Writer

Several families were forced to evacuate their burning apartments in Baltimore's Walbrook section last night after a man reportedly set fire to his girlfriend's living room in the Windsor Courts Apartments.

None of the more than 100 occupants of the half-block-square, three-story brick building in the 2100 block of Garrison Blvd. was injured.

Three firefighters, two from Engine 20 at West North Avenue near Hilton Street, were treated at Mercy Medical Center. One suffered minor burns, another injured his right shoulder when a section of ceiling fell on him and the third sustained minor injuries when he was struck by a car backing up near the fire grounds.

Shortly after the fire was reported at 10:35, the suspect's girlfriend was outside watching flames pour from her apartment when she pointed out the man who allegedly started the fire to Officer Kerry Daniel of the Southwestern District.

While he and other officers talked to the man, the suspect attempted to flee but was wrestled to the ground and arrested.

"He was standing across the street watching the building burn when she pointed him out to us," said Officer Daniel, adding that the fire resulted from a domestic argument.

As the fire consumed the woman's second-floor front apartment, flames went up a ventilation chute and entered the apartment directly above. From there, flames entered at least two other apartments and hallways on the second and third floors and sent smoke throughout the remainder of the building.

In all, at least 20 apartments were damaged.

Police and firefighters quickly alerted the residents and escorted at least 100 people to safety. "They did a heck of a job getting the people out of there, said the Rev. Robert Grumbein, a Fire Department chaplain.

Several residents got out early when their smoke detectors went off.

The second alarm was pulled at 10:42 p.m. More than 20 pieces of fire apparatus and nearly 65 firefighters responded to the fire.

The fire was declared under control at 11:18 p.m.

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