Fire forces dozens to flee apartments in Cockeysville

December 07, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A cat and a candle may have been the cause of a smoky fire that forced dozens of people from the Topfield apartment complex in Cockeysville yesterday and sent at least four people to hospitals.

Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard, a Baltimore County Fire Department spokesman, said three residents were flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of smoke inhalation and a firefighter was released after treatment from a local hospital for an apparent asthma attack.

Hubbard said investigators confirmed that a candle started the two-alarm blaze, but did not know whether a cat found dead in the middle-floor apartment had tipped it over. He said that two of the three people flown to Shock Trauma lived in the apartment and may have suffered from smoke inhalation while trying to save the pet.

The blaze was reported at 3: 43 p.m., and declared under control nearly two hours later. It affected two buildings, each housing 12 apartments. Hubbard said seven units had "significant" damage and three were destroyed. Damage was initially estimated at $200,000, he said.

Hubbard said the number of injuries was minimized because residents alerted others.

Pub Date: 12/07/97

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