4-alarm fire in office closes Calvert St.

August 03, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A smoky four-alarm fire burned out a downtown office building across from Mercy Medical Center late yesterday afternoon, shutting down a major thoroughfare at the height of the evening rush hour.

No injuries were reported, but two lawyers with Arthur M. Frank and Associates were trapped briefly on the top floor of the four-story Calvert Professional Building. They escaped by walking down a smoky stairway.

The fire, which began about 5: 15 p.m. in the 300 block of N. Calvert St., started in a second-floor storage room and quickly spread to the third and fourth floors, said Inspector Michael Maybin, a Fire Department spokesman.

The brick building is across the street from Mercy Medical Center and is sandwiched between a new eight-story Mercy parking garage and a Mercy clinical building. No one in the medical building was evacuated, but Maybin said there was concern about several kidney dialysis patients there.

Maybin said investigators believe the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. The storage room also houses fuse boxes.

A damage estimate was not available, but Maybin said much of the interior was destroyed. In addition to the law office, several doctors had private practices in the building, and Fire Department officials said most of the files and expensive equipment were damaged.

More than 60 firefighters had the fire under control by 6: 10 p.m. Several blocks of North Calvert Street and many side streets were closed for about two hours. The 300 block of N. Calvert St. remained closed until late last night.

Pub Date: 8/03/96

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.