Three-alarm fire leaves seven families homeless

Balto. Co. apartment blaze causes $400,000 in damage

April 28, 2005|By Christina Hernandez | Christina Hernandez,SUN STAFF

A three-alarm fire at the Bonnie Ridge Apartments in the Brooklandville area of Baltimore County caused $400,000 in damage yesterday and displaced seven families, a fire official said.

No serious injuries were reported, but one man was taken to Sinai Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, said Lt. Bill Johns of the Baltimore County Fire Department.

A malfunctioning hair dryer left on a sofa in one of the lower apartments is the suspected cause of the fire, said Mark Hubbard, division chief for the county Fire Department.

The department received the fire call at 10:16 a.m. and had the fire under control by 11:27 a.m., Hubbard said. Apartment maintenance workers were on the scene when the fire broke out and made some initial attempts to fight the blaze, he said.

At least two apartments have substantial damage and nine others require repairs, Hubbard said. There is some water and smoke damage throughout the building. Fire investigators estimated damage at $300,000 to the building and $100,000 to the contents of the units.

The American Red Cross was called to help the displaced families find places to stay, Hubbard said.

Irina Zlatkina, whose unit was burned, has lived in Bonnie Ridge with her husband for three years. Shortly after the fire, Zlatkina, who did not know yesterday afternoon if her pet birds had survived, said she wasn't sure where she would go.

"I have no plans so far," she said early yesterday afternoon.

A resident of an apartment unit next to the fire said maintenance workers knocked on his door when the fire started, telling him to leave his unit immediately.

Mao Alvina, who has been living in the United States for just over two weeks, had no time to grab his valuables or even put on a jacket over his T-shirt and shorts.

"I brought only the picture of my daughter in the Philippines," he said.

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