City police enter burning rowhouse, rescue two men

March 26, 2001|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

As heavy smoke and flames enveloped a two-story rowhouse in southern Baltimore yesterday, two police officers entered the dwelling and rescued two men.

One of the men, Robert Stevens III, 43, of the 800 block of Jack St. in Brooklyn, suffered smoke inhalation and burns on his head and arms. He was admitted to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center burn unit and was to have been released last night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

According to Agent Martin Bartness, a police spokesman, Officers William Harris, 30, and McKinley Smith, 25, were in their police cruiser about 2 p.m. when they smelled smoke and drove to the nearby 800 block of Jack St.

There, Bartness said, the officers saw flames and smoke coming from the second floor of a rowhouse and were told by people on the block that the house was occupied.

After notifying the Fire Department, Harris, an 11-year veteran, and Smith, a member of the force for two years, entered the dwelling, found Stevens on the second floor and took him outside, Bartness said. The officers then went back inside and escorted Stevens' housemate, Harold Simmons, 76, to safety. They also rescued a pet bird.

The fire, according to the Fire Department's investigation bureau, was caused by an unattended cigarette. The bureau estimated damage to the dwelling at $10,000.

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