Red Cross aids 130 displaced by fires over the weekend

April 16, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

About 130 residents displaced by two apartment complex fires in Baltimore and Harford counties over the weekend were settling into temporary homes and receiving aid yesterday from the Red Cross.

Linnea Anderson, spokeswoman for the Central Maryland chapter of the Red Cross, said the agency is helping 38 families at Hillside Terrace Apartments in Aberdeen, where a fire swept through seven buildings Sunday afternoon, leaving 90 people homeless.

Anderson said 27 Red Cross volunteers have helped to find food, clothes and shelter for the families, who were staying last night in local motels. The Harford blaze has created more fire-relief cases in the county than the Red Cross typically handles in Harford in a year, she said.

The county has condemned the Hillside Terrace complex, which is owned by Baldwin Manor Inc., said resident manager Steve Beyer. A decision on whether residents will be allowed to go into the apartments to retrieve belongings will likely be made today, he said.

In Owings Mills, 17 families from the Morningside Heights housing complex, displaced by a fire Saturday afternoon, were receiving Red Cross aid, Anderson said. Many of the 40 residents were able to move to empty apartments elsewhere in the complex, she said. Officials at the management company that runs the complex could not be reached for comment.

With more than 100 people receiving assistance, early estimates of the cost of the combined relief efforts range from $80,000 to $100,000, Anderson said.

The Aberdeen fire caused $3 million in damage and the Owings Mills blaze about $500,000, state and county fire officials said yesterday. The causes are under investigation.

Anderson said that last year, the Red Cross' Central Maryland chapter helped 2,747 fire victims in Baltimore City and Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties.

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