A man died in a small fire that broke out early yesterday in the kitchen of his rowhouse in Northeast Baltimore's Bel-Air Edison neighborhood, according to a city fire official.
The first fire victim of 2008 was found lying behind a refrigerator and was pronounced dead at the scene, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a spokesman for the Baltimore Fire Department. Another man who also lived in the house said he had left before the fire started.
The survivor identified himself to a reporter as Marc Hurley, 45. Hurley said his dead companion was Clarence Wayne Windbush, also 45.
Cartwright said the fire was reported shortly after 3 a.m. in the end-of-group two-story brick rowhouse in the 3600 block of Dudley Ave., at Cliftmont Avenue.
Firefighters found smoke coming from the front entrance of the house and went inside. "They found an adult male victim lying on the floor," Cartwright said. "There was fire in the vicinity. Unfortunately, he was found unconscious. ... There was no obvious trauma that might suggest a crime. We suspect he died due to smoke inhalation and burns."
Cartwright said the one-alarm fire was confined to the kitchen and was quickly extinguished.
Last year, 34 people died in fires in Baltimore, the most since 1998.