A 32-year-old woman died Monday morning after a three-alarm apartment fire at Franconia Apartments in Northeast Baltimore.
The fire broke out shortly after 11 a.m. in the 4400 block of Franconia Drive in the Frankford neighborhood, Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Ian Brennan said. Units were dispatched at 11:03 a.m., and the blaze was under control at 11:46 a.m., fire officials said.
The victim, who has not been identified, was found dead at 11:24 a.m. If investigators confirm that the woman died because of the blaze, she will be the 19th fire death of the year, Brennan said. Last year, Baltimore hit an all-time low of 12 fire deaths.
There were no other injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation. BGE was on the scene and the American Red Cross was assisting residents with relocation.
The fire damaged eight apartments as well as the roof of the building adjacent to the apartment where the fire started. While many residents were at work at the time of the fire, some jumped out of windows to escape the smoke and flames.
"I heard a bunch of screaming and yelling," said 27-year-old resident Tanika Murphy, who awoke to the commotion. "My neighbor told me to grab my stuff and that the building was on fire."
Murphy, whose 8-year-old daughter was at school when the fire broke out, said she likely would move into her parents' house for the short term.
Frank Ushery, a repairman driving by the apartment complex when he noticed smoke, went into the building.
"I drove around the lot and saw smoke coming out of a window. I saw a tenant coming out and we went in together," Murphy said.
The pair could not reach anyone, Murphy said, because "the flames were too great."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun