Body found inside burning rowhouse

Damage might top $30,000 in Brooklyn Park blaze

March 31, 2004|By Liz Boch | Liz Boch,SUN STAFF

Firefighters responding to a two-alarm fire in Brooklyn Park yesterday morning found a burned body on the second floor of a burning rowhouse, Anne Arundel County fire officials said.

Authorities were unable to identify the body or determine the cause of death. Neighbors said a 73-year-old woman lived on the upper floor of the house in the 900 block of Victory Ave., which is divided into two apartments.

The blaze, which displaced first-floor resident Shirley Lorick, was reported shortly before 9 a.m., said John M. Scholz, division chief of the county Fire Department.

Firefighters said they saw flames and heavy smoke billowing from the second story of the rowhouse when they arrived.

The fire was brought under control shortly after 9 a.m.

Linda Davis said she was across the street on her way to the store when she saw flames inside the apartment through the windows. She said she knocked on neighbors' doors to alert them.

"Flames were just shooting out of the window," Davis said, adding that the second-floor windows exploded shortly after she noticed the fire.

"Neighbors kicked the door in ... but the damage was so bad they came out covered in smoke," she said.

Louis Vaden, who lives on First Street behind the rowhouse, said he saw firefighters kick down the back door to get inside the house.

"I heard screams. Everybody was screaming," he said. "I ran over there, and they already had firetrucks there."

Scholz said damage to the house is expected to exceed $30,000.

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