2 residents of rowhouse in Baltimore die in blaze Third elderly person treated at Shock Trauma for smoke inhalation

July 26, 1998|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Two elderly residents of a West Baltimore rowhouse died yesterday evening in an intense fire that consumed the interior of their home in the 2500 block of W. Fayette St. as a neighbor tried to fight the flames with a garden hose.

A third resident, an elderly woman who suffered smoke inhalation, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The identities of the house's occupants were not released.

Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, a Fire Department spokesman, said the two-story brick house was filled with flames when firefighters arrived at 7: 17 p.m. The flames leaped out of the second-floor windows and jumped to the adjoining house to the east. The second house's occupants fled uninjured, but the house suffered major damage.

Firefighters discovered the body of one victim on the second floor. The other was discovered on the first floor.

Willie Scott, 44, who lives five doors from the house where the fire started, said his wife alerted him to the fire. He went outside and hooked a garden hose to a faucet attached to the front of his home.

"I tried to spray water on the front window. It was so hot. You could have never walked in the door," Scott said.

He continued to spray water on the fire until the Fire Department arrived.

The fire attracted a large number of onlookers, many of whom watched in shock as the flames shot from every window in the house.

"There were a lot of flames. I could see the fire catch to the curtains and then the whole living room went up," said Lilly Bush, a neighbor who called the Fire Department.

Torres said four people lived in the home. The fourth resident was not home during the fire, he said.

Eric Jones, 28, who lives across the street, said the flames burst over the sidewalk and the street.

"You couldn't get near the front door," he said. "In two minutes, the flames had totally filled the living room and shot out the windows. The whole street got hot. It was bad and intense."

About 40 firefighters responded to the fire, which was characterized as a "complete burnout."

Pub Date: 7/26/98

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