Two-alarm fire in Greektown damages six homes

As many as 12 people were displaced by the afternoon fire

December 10, 2013|By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun

A two-alarm fire in Greektown damaged six row homes and displaced as many as a dozen people Tuesday afternoon, according to the Baltimore City Fire Department.

Medics checked out a few residents while firefighters fought the blaze from the roof, but the department said no one was seriously injured.

The fire started just after 2 p.m. in the 600 block of Oldham St., department spokesman Ian Brennan said. Investigators have not yet released a cause or damage estimates.

Responding firefighters upgraded the fire to a second alarm within 10 minutes of arriving and closed off the block for most of Tuesday afternoon.

As smoke billowed out of the windows of their houses, nine displaced residents warmed up inside an ambulance.

Jimmy Pigiaditis, whose sister and brother-in-law lived in one of the destroyed homes, took call after call on his cellphone as he watched the smoking building from across the street.

Pigiaditis' sister and her husband have lived on Oldham for about a year. The couple had lived with him in Essex before moving to Greektown, he said, and they'll likely move back in with him until they figure out a new living situation.

They had renter's insurance, but that won't cover their belongings in the house, Pigiaditis said.

The fire was particularly hard for Pigiaditis' sister, who went to his house rather than watch hers burn.

"She's in shock," he said. "She'll be OK. But they lost everything, you know?"

Harry Barkas' parents' home was also razed in the fire, but they are living abroad in Greece and he hadn't talked to them as of Tuesday afternoon.

Barkas, who lives a few blocks up the street, was one of several neighbors milling around on the sidewalk and questioning firefighters and police about cause of the blaze.

Angela Chagetas, of the 700 block of Oldham, said she could see the smoke during her drive home from work, and panicked, as her 86-year-old mother was home at the time.

"I was thankful it wasn't my house," she said. "But I feel sorry for them."

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