Three residents of high-rise for seniors treated after fire

Blaze at city complex is being investigated

March 01, 2004|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Three residents were treated for respiratory complaints yesterday after a fire broke out in a sixth-floor apartment in the Bel-Park Tower elderly housing development in Northwest Baltimore, the city Fire Department said.

The blaze, reported about 2:20 p.m., was quickly contained in the apartment - although fire officials called for a second alarm because of the high location in the 11-story building in the 3800 block of W. Belvedere Ave., said James J. Gardner, a Baltimore Fire Department spokesman.

Residents on the sixth floor and below were evacuated, while those on floors above the fire were told to shelter themselves in their apartments by blocking the air flow from the hallway with wet towels, Gardner said.

Fire officials and the Baltimore housing authority, which manages the 227-unit development, have conducted fire safety and prevention programs at buildings like Bel-Park since two fatal fires two months apart last year at Lakeview Towers, a city-owned seniors high-rise complex, he said. The housing authority has also upgraded the fire alarm systems at the buildings and is in the process of installing sprinkler systems, Gardner said. The three Bel-Park residents who complained of breathing difficulties were taken to medical facilities to be examined, he said.

The fire is under investigation, and the housing authority was assessing damage and trying to relocate affected residents, he said.

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