34 displaced, seven hurt in Columbia apartment building fire

Thirty-four people were displaced and seven injured by a two-alarm fire early Thursday in the 5600 block of Stevens Forest Road in Columbia.

The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services reported that 10 apartments at the Autumn Crest complex were affected by the fire at 1:30 a.m. and that crews had to rescue about eight residents of the three-story building with ladders.

According to Battalion Chief Gordon Wallace, seven residents were injured in the fire, and two adults and one child were taken to an area hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The other four residents were treated at the property and released. No firefighters were injured.

According to Wallace, crews arrived to find the building with "heavy fire" visible from the first floor and some occupants trapped on the floors above the fire. According to Wallace, the fire directly burned three apartments, and seven others were damaged by smoke and water. The American Red Cross arrived to assist residents who were displaced.

Wallace said more than 35 Fire Department units worked to extinguish the blaze. The fire is believed to have begun on the first floor of the building, and the department's Fire Investigation Bureau is investigating.

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