Middle River fire victims get help to find housing

57 residents escaped three-alarm blaze at apartment complex

September 08, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

More than 50 residents of a Middle River apartment complex who escaped a fire over the weekend were being assisted yesterday by American Red Cross officials and others in finding a place to live.

Six families were temporarily sheltered at a local motel for two nights, said Red Cross spokeswoman Linnea Anderson. Others, she said, were given temporary homes in vacant apartments elsewhere in the complex or stayed with family or friends.

Sunday night, a three-alarm fire spread through 24 apartments at the Commons at White Marsh in the 600 block of Sopwith Drive, Baltimore County fire officials said yesterday.

No residents were hurt, but two firefighters were treated for minor injuries, said Capt. Glenn Blackwell, a county Fire Department spokesman.

The cause of the fire, Blackwell said, was a lighted cigarette that ignited flammable material near a woman who was painting her fingernails.

The fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage, Blackwell said, adding that 42 adults and 15 children were evacuated from the burning apartments.

While crews from a private company boarded up apartments and covered roofs yesterday, the Red Cross tried to find homes for those displaced by the fire. In some cases, Anderson said, her agency was assisting with moving costs or rent.

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