Midday fire sweeps through Annapolis apartment building


A fire yesterday at an Annapolis building that is at least a century old has left it uninhabitable and the occupants of its 14 apartments temporarily homeless, city fire officials said.

The midday fire, at 8 Maryland Ave. in the city's historic district, took 70 firefighters from the city and Naval Academy several hours to extinguish.

A firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. No residents were injured, said city fire Capt. Douglas M. Remaley. He said residents may be able to return to the building in about a week.

Yesterday morning, a cigarette ash ignited a couch in a third-floor apartment, and the occupant thought he extinguished it before leaving for work. Two hours later, about 11:45 a.m., people in the area saw smoke and flames and called the Fire Department, Remaley said.

The blaze caused an estimated $250,000 in damage. The fire damaged the third and fourth floors of the four-story structure, and the lower floors sustained water damage.

Of the 18 units in the building, four were vacant. The Red Cross and the building's owner, King Properties of Annapolis, were helping residents find shelter.

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