4-alarm fire damages townhomes

One firefighter injured in Dutch Village blaze

April 25, 2003|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Four townhomes were severely damaged in an intense blaze that began about 8:35 a.m. yesterday in the 6900 block of McClean Blvd. in Northeast Baltimore, city fire officials said.

Four other adjacent townhomes on the block sustained fire and smoke damage that was not as serious, said Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman. No residents were injured, Cartwright said, but a city firefighter was treated for a minor leg injury.

With strong winds fanning the flames, the four-alarm fire in the Dutch Village Townhomes community was brought under control at 9:50 a.m., Cartwright said. The cause and damages had not been determined, according to fire officials.

Ninety city firefighting and emergency personnel responded to the scene, a total of 33 units, Cartwright said, including an 85-foot aerial truck ladder used to douse the blaze.

Joslyn Butler, 17, was sleeping when the fire spread to her house. She said she woke up to smoke in her bedroom, with no one else at home. The Dunbar High School student said she walked to the stairway to escape, and a firefighter led her downstairs to safety.

"It's beyond devastating, to think that 10 minutes later and I'd be dead," Joslyn said.

Her mother, Peggy Butler, said the ruins of her house were not uppermost in her mind. "All that stuff can be replaced," Butler said. "She can't."

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