Baltimore County fire officials say 60 to 80 people displaced after two-alarm blaze in Windsor Mill

Baltimore County fire officials said between 60 and 80 people from about 24 apartment units were displaced Saturday after a two-alarm fire in Windsor Mill.

Fire officials said that shortly after 2 p.m. the department received multiple calls regarding a blaze in the 2400 block of Bytham Court.

Baltimore County Fire Department Battalion Chief Rob Kemp said that as units arrived, they found heavy fire extending from the lower level through the roof. The fire was under control at 4:30 p.m., but around 5:30 p.m. firefighters were still extinguishing flames.

“Crews are working to extinguish hot spots,” which were difficult to access because floors and the roof had caved in, Kemp said.

There were no injuries to residents or firefighters reported.

Kemp said he believed the building was a complete loss, noting the roof collapse and smoke and water damage in adjoining spaces. He said the cause of the fire was under investigation, adding that when they arrived a gas line was actively burning. The department had to call for BGE to put the line out.

Kemp said the Red Cross and the building’s property management company were assisting the dozens of displaced residents.

Resident Teresa Koger was away from her home when she received news that her first-floor apartment was on fire.

“I got a call from [a] neighbor” and rushed home, she said.

“My dog was inside, and the firefighters went in and rescued my dog,” Koger said as she stood outside the building.

Koger and other residents were waiting for officials from the Red Cross to arrive Saturday afternoon. She said building officials had mentioned placing residents in other units at the apartment complex. Representatives for the company could not be reached for comment.

Lenore Koors, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said later that the organization had responders at the scene and was working with property managers to identify units to help those displaced. She said the agency would also help people with food and clothing allowances, if needed.

Eddie “Eddie B.” Dobyns, a musician who lived on the second floor of the complex, said he was getting out of the shower when he heard someone yell: “Somebody’s got to call the fire department!”

He said he quickly put on his clothes and went to his window — where he was met with flames.

“The fire was right in my face... and I just ran out the door,” Dobyns said, standing on the lawn of the complex as firefighters aimed a hose at his window.

Dobyns, who said he only lived at the apartment complex for about a month, said much of the belongings and mementos of his mother, who recently died of cancer, were inside, along with his computer and much of his music equipment.

“I lost everything,” he said. But then he said his grandmother reminded him he had saved the most important thing.

“You got Eddie,” he told her.

bbritto@baltsun.com

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