Fires scorch Glen Burnie dwellings Tenants evacuate in apartment blaze

January 25, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

One house and one apartment were destroyed and another house was badly damaged in a series of weekend fires in Glen Burnie.

A fire at Glen View Garden Apartments Saturday night forced five tenants to a balcony, where they were rescued by firefighters. Twenty-four tenants had to seek shelter and one firefighter was injured.

Capt. Gary Sheckells, a fire department spokesman, said the call came in at 8:36 p.m. When firefighters arrived at the complex in the 7900 section of Nolpark Court, they found the first-floor apartment engulfed in flames and five people, including two children, trapped on a third-floor rear balcony.

"With the fire on the first floor, the smoke had filled the interior stairwell, and they couldn't get out," he said.

Firefighters used ladder trucks to bring the occupants down to safety, he said. Firefighters sounded a second alarm at 8:43 p.m. and the fire was brought under control at 10 p.m. by some 40 firefighters called to the scene, he said.

The cause of the fire, which started in the bedroom of the first-floor apartment, is under investigation, he said.

Captain Sheckells said one apartment was destroyed and 11 others were damaged by smoke and water.

The 12 units shared gas and electric connections with another 12 units in the complex. When power was cut off for the damaged apartments, the tenants in the other apartments had to be evacuated for the night, Captain Sheckells said.

Linda Klein, a Red Cross spokeswoman, said that all but one family was able to find shelter with relatives or friends.

Firefighter Joseph Clawson of the South Glen Burnie Station was treated at North Arundel Hospital for minor first- and second-degree burns to his hand and face and released, Captain Sheckells said.

Damage to the three-story brick building was estimated at $100,000, and there was another $100,000 worth of damage to the contents, he said.

In the second incident, at 2:04 a.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a fire in the basement and first floor of a two-story home in the 200 block of Poplar Ave.

The two-alarm blaze was not brought under control for four hours because the fire spread through the walls of the aging structure.

Fire officials said the home was destroyed. Damages were estimated at $200,000.

The cause is under investigation.

The home is owned by James Simms of the 500 block of 2nd Ave. S.W. in Glen Burnie.

The occupants, John J. Sparenberg Jr. and his wife, were not home when the fire broke out. They had left the house at 10 p.m. and returned shortly after 2 a.m. to find firefighters there.

Captain Sheckells said one firefighter was treated at North Arundel Hospital after he fell and suffered minor neck and back injuries.

Also Saturday, firefighters were called at 2:30 p.m. to a fire in a one-story ranch-type home in the 200 block of Henson Road, off Baltimore and Annapolis Boulevard near the Valley Brook Apartments.

Captain Sheckells said the owner of the home, John Ellison, smelled smoke coming from a back bedroom. The blaze, believed to be accidental, was confined to the bedroom and was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

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