Fire in vacant house spreads to 4 others No injuries in Sandtown-Winchester blaze

November 05, 1993|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Staff Writer

A one-alarm fire destroyed a vacant rowhouse in West Baltimore yesterday morning and damaged four other dwellings, the Fire Department reported.

No injuries were reported.

The fire of undetermined origin broke out about 10 a.m. in a vacant dwelling at 1112 Stockton St. in Sandtown-Winchester and was extinguished about two hours later, the Fire Department said. Nine pieces of equipment responded.

"The fire started on the first floor of 1112, burned up the stairway and then spread across the entire top floor," Battalion Chief Frank Giotis said. From there, it spread to 1114 and 1116 to the north and 1110 and 1108 to the south, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Charred belongings from the occupied dwellings littered the street.

"The entire back of my house is out, roof and all," said L. Brown, who has lived at 1116 Stockton for nearly 30 years.

"The house on the other side of me [1118] caught fire not too long ago," she said. "Now this happens."

"I feel sorry for the man who lives down the street," said a resident of the block who said she did not want to be identified. "His wife just died on Monday. She's supposed to be buried tomorrow. Now a fire ruins his house."

Another woman who lives on the block and didn't want to be identified had a theory about the origin of the fire.

"We have a lot of drug addicts that hang out around here," she lamented. "I can hear them at night right next door to me. I think some of them may have gone down to 1112 and started a fire to keep warm."

"The landlord does nothing to keep the buildings up," she said of the vacant house next to hers and the one at 1112, which firefighters said was "wide open" and had not been boarded up.

"I've been to the Sandtown-Winchester Association about it [the vacant house situation]," Mrs. Brown said.

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