9-month-old baby dies in West Baltimore fire

March 10, 1994|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

A 9-month-old boy died in a house fire in West Baltimore yesterday, after an elderly man who lived in the house tried to save him, fire officials said.

Pronounced dead in an ambulance where medics vainly attempted to revive him was Damion Phillips, of the 1300 block of N. Fulton Ave., police said.

The one-alarm blaze started shortly before 3 p.m. when a 5-year-old boy playing with matches ignited a sofa in the living room of a duplex house in the 4000 block of Edmondson Ave., said Shift Commander Joseph Dillon.

He said the fire quickly engulfed the living room and spread upstairs in the two-story dwelling.

Commander Dillon said the man was changing the baby on the dining room table when the fire began.

He said one of the man's sons, Isaiah Talley, 44, came downstairs and led him out of the building.

The elderly woman, the 5-year-old and another child about a year old also fled the house through the back door, Commander Dillon said. In the confusion, the baby apparently was left on the table, he said.

When the elderly man realized the infant had been left inside, he went back into the house for the baby but could not get to him because of the fire, Chief Hector Torres said. The man suffered second-degree burns on his upper body, he said.

When fire units arrived, Lt. Frank Corasaniti of Engine 53 "crawled through the kitchen into the middle room and got the baby," Commander Dillon said.

Shortly after the fire was extinguished, the infant's mother, Dametria Martin, also of the 1300 block of N. Fulton Ave., arrived and collapsed when she learned of her son's death.

Commander Dillon said the cause of death probably was heat and smoke inhalation. An autopsy by the state medical examiner is planned, he said.

Commander Dillon said the speed with which the fire spread may have been a factor in the infant's death.

The fire spread to the adjoining house, but no one was injured, fire officials said.

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