A two-alarm fire at a Parkville apartment complex last night destroyed a three-story building with 12 units and severely damaged two apartments in adjoining structures.
All of the units involved were occupied, leaving 14 families in Doncaster Village displaced. Most had found temporary shelter within hours, fire officials said.
No injuries were reported, although one firefighter was treated at the scene for illness related to exertion.
Investigators determined that the fire was started by careless smoking in a third-floor apartment in the 9300 block of Hallsboro Circle.
"One entire building was rendered uninhabitable," said James Korn, a Baltimore County Fire Department spokesman. "Fortunately, these buildings had firewalls in the attic that kept the fire from spreading."
Tenants of two units in an adjoining building were also displaced because of fire and smoke damage. A common roof connects the buildings.
A phone call at 7:35 p.m. alerted firefighters, who arrived within minutes and immediately issued a second alarm, Korn said. About 80 firefighters responded and brought the blaze under control by 8:12 p.m.
"Flames were shooting through the roof when we arrived at the fire," Korn said.
Officials had no estimate last night of the total damage, Korn said.