One hurt, 12 displaced in three-alarm apartment fire in Bowleys Quarters

Nine units damaged in early-morning blaze

May 14, 2010|By Rebecca Hyler and Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

One person was hurt and 12 residents of an apartment complex in Bowleys Quarters were displaced after a three-alarm fire early Friday morning.

A fire was reported at a building at the Seneca Bay Apartments in the 3700 block of White Pine Road at 3:41 a.m., with flames on the second floor that spread to the third floor, according to Division Chief Michael Robinson. The Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Department was first on the scene, he said. About 100 personnel from 25 units reported to fight the blaze.

The fire started in an end building in the complex and spread to an adjacent building. Firefighters used axes to cut holes in the buildings' roofs to get water in and to make sure that the fire did not spread. It was brought under control by 5 a.m., Robinson said.

Nine apartments were damaged in the blaze. The fire chief said 12 residents were displaced, but all had renters' insurance, a requirement in the complex. The affected tenants were moving to other apartments within Seneca Bay Apartments.

One resident was taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center after suffering smoke inhalation, the division chief said. The person's injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Baltimore County fire and police and the Red Cross were on the scene. White Pine Road at Bowleys Quarters Road was closed while officials dealt with the fire.

The cause is under investigation.

Ron Kordulak, who lives in the building where the fire originated, said he awoke when someone loudly banged on his door. "I got up, put clothes on, put the light on and saw smoke," he said.

Seneca Bay resident Alex Rostorotski, 30, who lives in the next building, said he awoke to find his bedroom full of smoke. He said he went to the living room to try to find the source. When he opened the sliding door to his balcony, he said he encountered more smoke, and he saw flames from a nearby window.

Before he left, Rostorotski was able to grab his laptop, cell phone and a small bag with his passport — still packed from a recent trip.

He lamented the loss of personal items — clothes, furniture and sports equipment like skis and tennis rackets, but more importantly, irreplaceable photos and souvenirs.

However, "I have my passport," he said. "I can have a home everywhere."

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