Northeast Baltimore woman dies in second-story house fire

Her husband escapes harm, says smoke was too thick to reach her

October 08, 2001|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

A 55-year-old woman died yesterday morning in a fire at her Northeast Baltimore home after heavy smoke prevented her husband from reaching her in an upstairs bedroom.

Barbara Lofton was pronounced dead at the scene after firefighters responded to the blaze at 8:40 a.m. in the 900 block of E. Belvedere Ave.

Her husband, Eddie Lofton, escaped without injury.

The fire, which apparently began in an upstairs bedroom, was brought under control within 25 minutes, said Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, a Fire Department spokesman. Torres said damage, most of it to the second story of the house, was estimated at $40,000. He said the cause of the blaze had not been determined.

A next-door neighbor, Acie L. Williams, said the Loftons were longtime residents of the tree-lined block. "She was a very pleasant person, both of them very good neighbors," he said.

Williams said he saw a lot of smoke, but not many flames, coming from a second-floor bedroom. He said he spoke to the husband after the fire.

"He said he did his best to get upstairs and save her but there was too much smoke," said Williams. "He was quite upset and in shock."

The neighbor said police at the scene told him that Eddie Lofton had to be restrained to keep him from rushing back into the fire.

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