Two females were transported to the hospital - one for smoke inhalation, the other for chest pain - caused by a two-alarm fire at an apartment complex on Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia Friday afternoon, Howard County fire and rescue officials said.
Firefighters responded to the fire, at the Clary's Crossing apartment complex in the 11300 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, at 1:30 p.m., according to Adam Nolder, a fire department spokesman. The fire involved three of the complex's three-story garden-style apartment buildings, he said.
The blaze was “through the roof,” according to a tweet by the department, and required rescuers to shut down traffic at Hickory Ridge Road and Little Sparrow Place. The road was reopened shortly before 3 p.m.
Although there were initial reports that a woman and child were stuck on the roof, Nolder said both were able to make their way out of the building. All residents were able to evacuate before firefighters arrived, he said.
Both females were taken to Howard County General Hospital, about a quarter-mile down the road, Nolder said.
Though there were no damage estimates Friday afternoon, pictures from the fire department showed the charred frames of several rooms on the second and third floors of one of the buildings. An earlier tweet from the fire department estimated that as many as 16 families might be displaced.
Approximately 60 firefighters took 45 minutes to control the fire, and another hour to extinguish the hot spots, Nolder said.
There were no injuries to firefighters, officials said.
According to Nolder, "at least 16 residents are displaced but that number is expected to rise as many people were not at home when the fire started."
The American Red Corss is on the scene and working with the apartment complex staff to find shelter for the displaced residents.