3 hurt in condominium fire damage estimated at $155,000

May 26, 1994

Residents of a Long Reach condominium complex were forced from their homes Tuesday night by a two-alarm fire that injured two residents and a county firefighter, Howard County fire and rescue officials said.

About 10 p.m. Tuesday, 15 fire units responding to the Long Reach Knolls Condominiums in the 3800 block of Spiral Cut found smoke coming from front and rear of a first-floor unit, said Battalion Chief Don Howell.

Firefighters found the occupant of the burning unit, Christine Finn, 43, at the top of the stairwell with another resident and escorted them through heavy smoke to safety, Chief Howell said.

Ms. Finn was driven to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was treated for smoke inhalation and released. The other person refused treatment, Chief Howell said.

As smoke seeped into 13 nearby units, firefighters carried an 82-year-old woman out though a window. Helene Cadman suffered chest pains and was taken to Howard County General Hospital and released, Chief Howell said.

Firefighter James Love of the Long Reach station was treated for minor burns at the scene.

Ms. Finn's apartment was destroyed in the blaze and smoke and water damaged other units. Fire officials estimated at least $155,000 in damage to the building.

About 55 firefighters from the Elkridge, Long Reach, Banneker, Ellicott City, Bethany, Scaggsville and Savage stations and Montgomery County's Burtonsville station extinguished the fire by 10:40 p.m.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Worker's finger severed at Owen Brown site

A 33-year-old Baltimore construction worker's finger was severed Tuesday morning when concrete blocks fell on him in Owen Brown, county fire and rescue officials said.

Sheldon Thomas was listed in serious but stable condition yesterday at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Mr. Thomas had been helping other workers remodel the exterior of an unoccupied building in the 8800 block of McGaw Court near Dobbin Road at about 11:30 a.m.

The men were knocking down a cement wall built to cover up a door, said Battalion Chief Don Howell.

At one point, portions of the bottom part of the wall fell onto Mr. Thomas, trapping him up to his waist. Co-workers pulled him from the rubble, Chief Howell said.

Mr. Thomas complained of back injuries, and a finger on his left hand had been severed, Chief Howell said.

The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health agency, which investigates work-related accidents, had not been notified, Chief Howell said.

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