Digest

September 18, 2007

Fumes force closure of east-side day care center

The Dunbar Daycare Center in East Baltimore was forced to close yesterday after fumes from a construction project seeped into the building through the ventilation system, according to the city Fire Department.

Chief Kevin Cartwright, a department spokesman, said about 30 children between ages 2 and 5 were evacuated, in addition to several staff members and an upstairs city-owned clinic, the Women, Infant and Children's Center.

No injuries were reported, but Cartwright said several children complained of their skin and eyes being irritated.

The incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. at the city-owned building in the 600 block of N. Eden St., next to the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Cartwright said roofers were sealing vents with a petroleum-based substance and turned on the building's ventilation system to make sure the seals held. The spokesman said the fumes were drawn inside and "became annoying and irritating to everybody."

Workers called 911, and the Fire Department evacuated the building. Cartwright said parents were called to pick up their children and the day care center is expected to reopen today.

Baltimore County

: Texas

Two rescue vehicles are dedicated

Baltimore County officials dedicated yesterday two new pieces of equipment designed to be used for rescues and other emergencies throughout the metro region.

A 58-foot, $417,000 urban search-and-rescue unit, known as USAR 17, has a 35-foot light tower and equipment for use in building or trench collapses, other confined-space rescues and helicopter rescues. It is the only vehicle of its kind in the Baltimore area, officials said.

A $467,000 decontamination unit, known as Decon 54, contains equipment to decontaminate people exposed to hazardous materials, including radiative materials. It is one of seven vehicles of its kind in the Baltimore area and will be housed at the county Fire Department's Chase station.

The vehicles have been in use for several months but were formally dedicated yesterday at the Fire Department's Texas station, which is home to the county's Advanced Tactical Rescue team. As part of a traditional "housing" of new equipment, firefighters helped push the USAR 17 into a $579,000 addition to the Texas station.

Federal homeland security money paid for the two vehicles, and Baltimore County funded the addition.

The Urban Area Work Group, a panel of regional emergency managers, evaluates the security needs of the Baltimore region. Based on its evaluation, the committee submits annual budget requests to the federal Department of Homeland Security. "There was a great need for these vehicles from a homeland security standpoint and for local regional needs," said Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman.

Jennifer Choi

Howard County

: Woodbine

Motorcycle crash victim is identified

Maryland State Police have identified Sam Loper, 55, of Hagerstown as the man killed last weekend when his motorcycle crashed in Woodbine in western Howard County.

Police were called to the accident scene - an exit ramp from eastbound Interstate 70 to Route 94 - about 5 p.m. Saturday. Loper had lost control of his 2001 Harley-Davidson and crashed on the ramp, police said.The cause of the accident remained under investigation, police said yesterday. No other vehicles or people were involved, police said.

Anne Arundel

: Selby on the Bay

Clubhouse structure damaged by fire

A multiple-alarm fire yesterday evening extensively damaged a condemned vacant clubhouse at a community center in Selby on the Bay, said a spokesman for the Anne Arundel Fire Department. No injuries were reported, and the cause and origin of the fire are under investigation.

The fire was reported at 7:18 p.m. in the 300 block of Beach Drive Blvd., near the Selby Bay Yacht Basin. The single-story wooden structure was fully involved when firefighters from several area stations arrived, said Lt. Shawn Jones, the spokesman. A second alarm was ordered, and more than 50 firefighters from Jones Station, Woodland Beach, Riva, Harwood-Lothian, Shadyside, Annapolis City, West Annapolis, Edgewater, Deale and Galesville brought the fire under control at 8:26 p.m., Jones said.

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