Around The Region

April 19, 2009

2 die, one hurt in city house fire

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A woman and child were killed and a man was injured in a fire in East Baltimore on Saturday.

Chief Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman, said firefighters responded just before 2 a.m. to a fire at a two-story brick rowhouse in the 1400 block of N. Broadway. Officials requested more firefighters and engines as the fire intensified and flames burned through the roof and damaged two adjacent homes, Cartwright said. The fire was under control about an hour later.

Fire officials found the bodies of a woman and a girl in a second-floor rear room, Cartwright said. Officials were trying to determining the victims' identities yesterday.

A man, whose identity was not released, escaped the fire by jumping from a rear window of the second floor, Cartwright said. He suffered serious injuries, including smoke inhalation, and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Fire officials also found that the rear windows on the first and second floors were barred. The man apparently escaped by kicking out a window's bars, Cartwright said.

Cartwright said there was no evidence of working smoking alarms, and investigators said that the dwelling had no electricity. Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire, but they were exploring whether candles were being used at the house.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon said in a statement Saturday that she is "saddened by the recent fire deaths that have occurred in Baltimore City."

"I send my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and neighbors of the victims," she said.

Dixon noted that Saturday's fire was the second incident and third death in recent weeks from fires that involved residents living without electricity, and she encouraged residents in need of energy assistance to ask for help.

Betty Godfrey died of injuries she suffered in an April 5 house fire in East Baltimore. The home had no electric power, and preliminary investigation indicated the use of candles may have been the cause of the fire, authorities said.

Hanah Cho

Park schedules Earth Day event

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Patapsco Valley State Park will celebrate Earth Day with the grand opening of the new Hilton Nature Center from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday on Hilton Avenue in Halethorpe. Family activities, volunteer opportunities and an ECO-Fest with green information will be featured. Participants are required to register at 410-461-5005.

Volunteers are sought for tree plantings

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The Baltimore County Volunteers and the Gunpowder Conservancy are seeking volunteers to join the county Department of Aging from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for a tree planting at Loch Raven Reservoir. Participants will plant 200 trees on a 1-acre tract. Volunteers should arrive by 9:15 a.m. and wear sturdy shoes, a hat and gloves and bring a large shovel and rain gear. Water and a light snack will be provided. Information: 410-887-2715.

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