Late-night fire damages 3 buildings in Baltimore

February 11, 2008|By Richard Irwin and Gus G. Sentementes | Richard Irwin and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporters

Firefighters battled a two-alarm dwelling fire late last night near Mondawmin Mall that extensively damaged a vacant rowhouse and extended into a bail bond business next door. Occupants of a second adjoining dwelling escaped without injury, said a Fire Department spokesman.

Reported about 11 p.m. in the 2400 block of Reisterstown Road, the fire damaged all three floors of the vacant house at 2407 Reisterstown Road and forced the residents of 2405 from their home and into an ambulance, where medics examined them for possible injuries.

Flames extended into Cody Smith Bail Bonds at 2409 Reisterstown Road, causing damage to the third floor, said Chief Kevin Cartwright.

Earlier yesterday, a fire tore through a three-story rowhouse in West Baltimore and displaced at least three residents.

Shortly after 10 a.m., firefighters responded to the 1900 block of Edmondson Ave., and found the rowhouse on fire. The Fire Department brought the fire under control in less than an hour, and no one was injured, authorities said.

At the time the fire broke out, residents on the first and second floors were home, and they managed to flee the building, according to one tenant. A tenant who lives on the third floor was at work when the fire began, according to the tenant, Clarence Cromwell.

Cromwell, 68, said he had walked out of the house and went to catch a bus to go to church. He was wearing a suit but got cold, so he went back to his apartment and put on a heavier coat.

As he walked down the front stairs of the rowhouse, he turned to his left and noticed flames and smoke shooting from the windows on the first floor.

"God is a wonderful person," Cromwell said. "I was on my way to church. If I hadn't come back out, I would've never noticed the fire."

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