Man, 81, dies in Pimlico rowhouse blaze

passers-by save invalid granddaughter

Body found in bedroom

7th city fire victim of year

April 02, 1999|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A man, 81, was killed yesterday in a fire in a rowhouse in Northwest Baltimore, said a Fire Department spokesman. Two passers-by rescued his invalid granddaughter.

Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres said firefighters found the man in his second-floor bedroom in the dwelling in the 3200 block of Spaulding Ave. in Pimlico. His body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy, Torres said.

He said the man's name was being withheld pending notification of other family members.

Torres said the woman, 20, who was not identified, was being treated at Sinai Hospital.

Torres said seven people have been killed in fires in Baltimore this year, and each victim was at least 70 years old.

The Pimlico fire was reported at 6: 02 p.m. and declared under control at 6: 18 p.m., Torres said. The blaze caused extensive damage to the upper floor of the two-story house and was mostly confined to the victim's bedroom, Torres said.

Torres said the granddaughter, who uses a wheelchair, was rescued by two men who were nearby and saw smoke coming from the house.

Ronald Wolfe, 31, of the 3500 block of Oakmont Ave. and Willie Mayfield, 42, of the 3300 block of Spaulding Ave. said they ran into the burning house and found the woman in her wheelchair between the kitchen and dining room.

"As we wheeled her outside to safety," Mayfield said, "she told us her grandfather was upstairs."

After taking the woman to a nearby house, the men re-entered the burning house.

While Wolfe looked throughout the first floor, Mayfield climbed the stairs to the second floor, calling out for the grandfather.

"He never answered, and I had to get out of there because of the black smoke and heat," Mayfield said.

The woman's mother arrived as firefighters removed charred debris from the house and she collapsed into the arms of neighbors when she learned that her father was dead and her daughter was in the hospital. She was taken to Sinai for treatment of shock.

It was not immediately known if the house was equipped with smoke detectors.

Torres said the cause of the fire is being investigated.

Pub Date: 4/02/99

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