Fire in senior high-rise sends 1 to burn center

Firefighters contained damage to one unit

  • A kitchen fire occurred in a 16th-floor apartment of the Westminster House at 524 N. Charles St. about 7 p.m. Wednesday. An occupant of the apartment suffered second- and third-degree burns and was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital.
A kitchen fire occurred in a 16th-floor apartment of the Westminster… (Kenneth K. Lam / The Baltimore…)
February 15, 2012|By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

A man was in serious condition late Wednesday following a kitchen fire on the 16th floor of a high-rise apartment building in the 500 block of N. Charles St.

The man, whose age and name were not immediately available, was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for the treatment of second- and third-degree burns and smoke inhalation, Fire Chief Kevin Cartwright said.

Four other occupants inhaled smoke and were treated for non-life threatening injuries, Cartwright said. The injured occupants were in a stairwell in Westminster House Apartments near the unit with the kitchen fire, he said.

Firefighters did not have an estimate on the damage, but Cartwright said the fire, caused by food left unattended on the stove, was contained to the kitchen of the single apartment. Authorities received a 911 call around 7 p.m.

Roughly 55 firefighters and 20 pieces of fire equipment — including SUVs, ladders and at least seven fire trucks — arrived on the scene and quickly extinguished the flames, Cartwright said.

The Mount Vernon 18-story high-rise boasts affordable retirement living in Baltimore's cultural center, according to its website.

Cartwright said residents were able to return to their homes Wednesday evening. The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management was offering assistance.

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