Boy, 12, killed during East Baltimore house fire

April 22, 2002|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,SUN STAFF

A 12-year-old boy was killed when fire swept through an East Baltimore rowhouse early yesterday.

The body of Isaiah Harrison was found on the second floor of the house in the 1400 block of Aisquith St. as firefighters were putting out the blaze, which was reported at 5:48 a.m., authorities said.

"There was heavy fire and smoke conditions on the first floor when they got there, and heavy smoke on the second floor," said Lt. Michael M. Maybin, a Fire Department spokesman. He said the conditions hampered rescue efforts.

The boy's mother, Ieisha Harrison, 30, was treated for smoke inhalation at University of Maryland Medical Center after rescuers helped her escape from a second-floor window at the back of the dwelling, authorities said.

Her stepfather, Robert Pierson, 54, and her mother, Mattie Pierson, 48, escaped by jumping from a second-floor window at the front of the rowhouse. Both were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of broken bones and abrasions, according to Officer Sheri Albrecht, a Police Department spokeswoman.

The Police Department arson squad is investigating the cause, as it does with all fatal fires.

Albrecht said the fire appears to have started on the first floor of the two-story rowhouse.

Neighbors, who said they were awakened by the sounds of a woman's screams and sirens, reported that the fire was intense.

"It looked like flames were just shooting out the whole front of the house," said one neighbor, who declined to give her name.

Kevin Bailey, who lives around the corner in the 1100 block of E. Hoffman St., said he often saw Isaiah playing basketball with children from the neighborhood.

"He seemed to be a neat little kid," Bailey said. "He was basketball crazy, I know that."

Raychel Atkinson, who lives next door, said her son, Devon, 9, and Isaiah were friends.

"They played together every day," Atkinson said.

Devon was outside their house yesterday, a basketball tucked under his arm. As he surveyed charred wreckage that had been shoveled onto the sidewalk from his friend's house, he began crying.

Maybin said that an estimate of damage to the structure has not been made. Firefighters had the blaze under control at 6:12 a.m., he said.

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