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Baltimore City

Five fire deaths in a week more than doubles Baltimore's total this year

Four young children and a 90-year-old woman died in fires in Baltimore in the past week, more than doubling the number of fire deaths in the city this year in the final month.

The most recent victim was Polly Taylor, 90, who was pulled from a burning home in the 400 block of Denison St. in Lower Edmondson Village Saturday afternoon, fire Capt. Roman Clark said. She was taken to a hospital, where she died of smoke inhalation Sunday morning, Clark said.

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Kamarl Ferrell, 10, and Tylynn McDuffie, 1, died in a fire in the 2400 block of Dorton Court at about 1:55 a.m. Saturday, Clark said. The medical examiner was to perform autopsies to determine the cause of death.

A 27-year-old and 4-year-old were also injured. Neighbors told fire officials they jumped from the burning house. It was not immediately known Sunday whether the victims were related.

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The two fatal fires Saturday came days after two other young children — brothers Nigel Ramirez, 3, and 9-month-old Exekial Ramirez — died in a burning home in the 600 block of N. Clinton St. in East Baltimore.

Clark said nine people have died so far this year in fires.

Family members of the dead could not be reached Sunday. Officials continue to investigate. They couldn't say Sunday what caused the deadly fires.

Authorities are reminding families to be careful with Christmas lights, trees and electrical outlets this holiday season.

Dried Christmas trees, frayed lights and overloaded outlets prove a common hazard in homes, Clark said.

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A coiled extension cord compressed beneath a mattress is believed to have caused a house fire this month in Harford County. No one was injured.

Families should keep trees well watered and inspect lights for damage and exposed wires, fire officials say. They say extension cords should never be used when they are coiled or looped, or covered with newspapers, clothing, rugs or any other object. They say extension cords should not be placed where they are likely to be damaged by furniture or walking.

Homes sealed in winter increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas stoves, water heaters and furnaces should be reviewed each winter by a licensed inspector, Clark said.

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Families may request a free smoke alarm to be installed in their homes by calling Baltimore City at 311.

Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Prudente contributed to this report.

amcdaniels@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/ankwalker


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