Girl, 15 months, killed in fire at apartment

February 05, 1996|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A 15-month-old girl died yesterday evening of severe burns she suffered when a fire -- caused by a sibling playing with matches -- destroyed an apartment in West Baltimore, a fire official said.

Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, a Fire Department spokesman, said Iesha Pittman was pronounced dead about 5:30 p.m. at Bon Secours Hospital.

A passer-by caught a 5-year-old boy, whose name was not released, when the boy was thrown from a window of the burning second-floor apartment in the 1800 block of Harlem Ave., Chief Torres said. The boy was unhurt.

The girl's mother, Sherry Hall, 23; her grandmother, Gladys Hall, 43; and an unidentified female friend also escaped the fire unhurt, Chief Torres said.

He said the fire was reported at 5:05 p.m. and declared under control at 5:22 p.m. Damage was estimated at $30,000.

Chief Torres said the boy was playing with matches in a rear bedroom. The unit had no smoke detector, he said.

Chief Torres said that as the fire raged through the apartment, the mother grabbed her son and ran to a front window.

Miles Thompson, 37, a passer-by of the 1800 block of W. Lexington St., said he saw smoke swirling around the woman and her son. "I yelled at her to throw him to me and she did," he said.

Lt. William Jones of Truck Company 10, who was off-duty and nearby, saw the fire and got a garden hose from a house. He and three Western District police officers -- Frederick Daum, John Hodge and Joe Bertrand -- fought the fire until firefighters arrived.

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