Man, 48, dies in Gardenville house fire

18-year-old injured in fall from tower at fire station

February 08, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

A 48-year-old Gardenville man was killed in a house fire yesterday in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood. In an unrelated incident, an 18-year-old man was critically injured when he fell 75 feet from a hose tower at a fire station in Southeast Baltimore.

Few details were available yesterday on the fatal fire in the 5000 block of Knell Ave. Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, Fire Department spokesman, said about 25 firefighters were called to the scene about 12: 40 p.m.

The firefighters rescued a man, who was in full cardiac arrest, and began resuscitation efforts, Torres said.

The man, whose name was being withheld until family members could be notified, was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

The fire was brought under control within an hour. No damage estimate was available. Torres said investigators are trying to determine how it started.

The fatality occurred nearly two hours after an 18-year-old man fell from a hose tower inside a city fire station in the 2100 block of Eastern Ave.

Timothy Beck, address unknown, was installing a cellular phone receiver at Engine No. 5 when he slipped and fell about 11 a.m., Torres said.

Beck was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition last night.

Torres said Beck was installing the receiver for Blanton Antenna Service of Severn, a private company that was leasing a small of part of the tower from the Fire Department. The receiver is meant to improve the quality of cellular phone transmissions.

Describing the tower, Torres said, "It is like taking a 10-foot-by-10-foot room and having it bricked up about 100 feet high."

Torres said firefighters place hoses in the tower so they can drain and that the city sometimes allows private radio equipment to be mounted on the top of the towers.

Torres was not sure whether Beck was the only antenna service employee in the tower at the time of the accident.

Blanton Antenna officials declined to comment.

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