Two people were injured jumping from a burning West Baltimore house before dawn today, and firefighters rescued seven others from the smoke-smothered, two-story rowhouse's roof.
In all, a dozen people were injured in that fire -- in the 1500 block of W. Lanvale St. -- and another unrelated fire about six blocks away on Harlem Avenue today.
One of those who jumped from the burning house was a 61-year-old man who already had burns on his arms and face. Another was a woman, 25, suffering from smoke inhalation.
At 7:25 a.m., another six people escaped from a fire that broke out about six blocks away, in the 1700 block of Harlem Ave.
"It could have been disastrous had it not been for smoke detectors and the quick actions of firefighters," Capt. Hector L. Torres, a fire department spokesman, said.
The first fire, on Lanvale Street, began when some carelessly discarded smoking materials caught fire in
the first-floor living room and spread to the rest of the building while everyone slept, Captain Torres said.
The spokesman said the nine occupants of the house -- five adults and four children -- went to a second-floor rooftop to escape the dense smoke pouring through the house.
Arriving firefighters quickly set up ladders and removed the other victims from the rooftop. "The people were totally engulfed in smoke," Captain Torres said.
Four children -- from 3 months to 5 years old -- and three adults were taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment, mostly for smoke inhalation.
The 61-year-old man was taken to the Francis Scott Key burn center, and the 25-year-old woman who jumped was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, suffering from possible internal injuries, fire officials said.
In the Harlem Avenue fire, six people were forced from their apartments by a blaze believed to have started in the basement of the three-story brick rowhouse, Captain Torres said.
Three of the occupants were taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center suffering from smoke inhalation. Three others fled.
The fire was brought under control about an hour later.