Blaze destroys building in city

Warehouse loss estimated in millions

May 10, 2007|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,sun reporter

Damage was estimated in the millions of dollars as a three-alarm blaze destroyed a large Southeast Baltimore warehouse yesterday evening.

Fire investigators were expected to enter the ruins of the Adcor Industries warehouse in the 900 block of S. Grundy St. this morning, seeking the cause of the blaze that erupted shortly after the last employee had left for the day about 5 p.m., according to Chief Kevin Cartwright, a city Fire Department spokesman.

Adcor, which manufactures equipment used to fill beverage containers, had about $6 million in inventory stored in the building, according to Robert Irizzary, a sales and service manager for the company. He said that seven of its approximately 110 employees worked in the building.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters aimed hoses from the rooftops of nearby rowhouses as flames roared through gaping holes in the roof of the brick, single-story warehouse. The smoke was visible miles away.

Cartwright said much of the building was engulfed in heavy fire and smoke when the first responding firefighters arrived from several stations. Within minutes, the second and third alarms were sounded to bring additional equipment. Nearly 90 firefighters manning more than 30 pieces of equipment battled the fire, which was declared contained about 8 p.m. Units from Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties were dispatched to staff city fire stations as a precaution.

City police and firefighters went door to door warning residents of the five nearby homes threatened by the fire to leave. Only two were occupied, Cartwright said.

"It's a very devasting and tragic thing for us," Adcor's Irizzary said. "Long term, none of us have the ability to digest the implications, but we are a strong company and we know how to survive."

Sun reporter Nia-Malika Henderson contributed to this article.

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