Man dies in rowhouse fire in city

Son is critically hurt

victim's wife escapes from 1-alarm blaze

October 11, 2007|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,Sun reporter

Kia Shaw said she smelled smoke, ran outside and saw a neighbor's house ablaze. Her shock turned to grief when she learned that a man she had known since childhood had died in the flames.

Baltimore Fire Department officials said Joseph Cross was killed in his home in the 4600 block of Northwood Drive in the New Northwood community when a blaze erupted about noon yesterday. Cross was 65.

Neighbors said Cross and his wife, Theresa, 64, had lived in the rowhouse for decades.

Shaw said the couple would host cookouts for the entire neighborhood.

Theresa Cross escaped the fire and found refuge in a house on the other side of the street, fire officials said. She was not seriously injured but was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital for examination.

Firefighters rescued the couple's son, Phillip, from the burning house. Phillip Cross, 34, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was in critical condition.

The one-alarm blaze occurred in a Northeast Baltimore neighborhood with two-story brick rowhouses. The blaze was confined to the house.

Shaw said she joined a couple of other neighbors who rushed to help Theresa Cross, who ran from the burning house to the front lawn.

"When we got her to the other home across the street, she was just in shock," Shaw said. "Those two had been married for a long time. I feel bad for her. I know how it feels to lose a loved one."

Fire officials said the cause of the blaze wasn't immediately determined.

It was the second straight day city firefighters had to battle a house fire.

Nobody was injured in a fire Tuesday in the 400 block of E. North Ave.

City Fire Chief William J. Goodwin Jr. stopped by yesterday's fire on his way to a news conference involving a fire in May on Cecil Avenue. Eight people were killed in that fire.

"Everything is not as calm as it usually is for us," Goodwin said.

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