A three-alarm fire ripped through several West Baltimore rowhouses early yesterday, killing one man, despite the heroic efforts of his brother who was unable to carry him from the burning building, fire officials said.
Peter Chandler, who neighbors said was in his 70s and used a wheelchair, died in the blaze, officials said. His brother, William Chandler, 71, suffered smoke inhalation and was recovering yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, officials said.
The fire started about 2:50 a.m. in the Chandlers' home in the 1900 block of Braddish Ave. and quickly spread to neighboring rowhouses, said Michael Maybin, a Fire Department spokesman. Firefighters had the blaze under control about 5 a.m.
Maybin said that Peter Chandler was in his bed when the fire started. Investigators are trying to determine the blaze's origin and cause.
The fire destroyed the Chandler residence, severely damaged a vacant rowhouse and damaged roofs of several other homes. It was unclear how many families were left homeless by the blaze.
William Chandler tried to rescue his brother, who neighbors say spent most of his time in bed, and William Chandler was able to carry Peter Chandler almost to the front door, Maybin said.
"He couldn't get him out of the house," the spokesman said. "He made repeated attempts, but the flames and heat" prevented the rescue.
Neighbors said the brothers had lived in the house for decades and were known for their kindness.
"They were very nice, sweet, understanding and kind neighbors," said Peggy Carter, 53, who lives around the corner on West North Avenue. "They helped everybody."