Arson suspected in fire that injured 6 in Essex

April 28, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer

A one-alarm fire that swept through an Essex home yesterday and injured six people, two critically, may have been intentionally set, fire officials said.

Arson investigators from the Baltimore County police and fire departments are trying to find out what happened about 5:30 a.m. yesterday when the fire erupted in a house in the 200 block of Stillwater Road.

About 40 firefighters, using six fire engines and other equipment, had the fire under control by 5:55 a.m., said Fire Specialist Ronald Schneider, an agency spokesman.

"It had extensive damage on the first floor. It pretty much gutted the second floor," he said.

All of those injured lived in the house, which received an estimated $50,000 in damage, officials said.

Virginia Gladden, a woman in her 70s who suffered severe smoke inhalation, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She remained in critical condition last night, a hospital spokesman said.

Joyce Hersl, 36, suffered third-degree burns over 85 percent of her body and was listed in critical condition at the burn center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Charles Brecker, 45, suffered second-degree burns and was treated at the burn center. Katie Paiva, 17, suffered second-degree burns and was also being treated at the burn center.

A 7-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from Franklin Square Hospital.

Investigators said the blaze was suspicious, but they were not sure last night where or how the fire started.

"It's under investigation," said Specialist Schneider.

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