Fire damages large building in Catonsville no one injured

Assisted-living facility was being renovated

cause of blaze unknown

November 25, 1995|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

A three-alarm fire heavily damaged a Catonsville assisted-living facility last night, Baltimore County fire officials said.

The fire was reported shortly after 8 p.m. in a vacant three-story building in the 6300 block of Frederick Road, said Battalion Chief Mark F. Hubbard, a Fire Department spokesman.

No injuries were reported

The building, about 75 feet wide and 200 feet long, was partly under renovation and partly new construction, Chief Hubbard said.

A second alarm was called about 20 minutes later and a third about 45 minutes after the fire began. About 125 firefighters battled the blaze, which burned for more than two hours. The cause was unknown.

Firefighters initially entered the building for about 10 minutes but were pulled out for safety reasons, Chief Hubbard said.

Access was difficult, and firefighters had to cut branches off several trees so that they could position ladders.

At the height of the fire, bright orange flames leapt more than 50 feet above the roof, Chief Hubbard said.

A sign identified the building as Paradise Assisted Living Facility. Such facilities provide care to those who do not need the close supervision of a nursing home but need more care than they can receive living by themselves in their own homes.

The blaze drew about 200 spectators on a chilly night, some with video cameras.

"It's terrible, but it's awesome," said Dana Gill, 11, an Arbutus Middle School student.

The crowd kept Rob Mott on his toes at the 7-Eleven store at Paradise Avenue and Frederick Road, where spectators and firefighters drank eight pots of coffee.

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