Two women were killed and eight people were displaced in three separate fires in the Baltimore area early Wednesday morning, according to local officials.
The first blaze took place just after midnight at a motel in Baltimore County, and claimed the life of a 61-year-old woman.
Baltimore County firefighters responded to the Days Inn motel in the 1600 block of Whitehead Court at about 12:20 a.m. Flames were coming from a second-floor room, where crews found the victim in critical condition.
The woman, Darline Nelson Grady, of no fixed address, was taken to St. Agnes Hospital and pronounced dead.
Fire investigators determined the fire was started by “improperly discarded smoking materials,” according to a news release.
Hours later, fire crews found a body of an adult woman outside a burned rowhome in South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood, according to the Baltimore Fire Department.
Crews responded to a home in the 4100 block of Doris Ave. for a fire at a two-story home just after 2:30 a.m. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters found a body outside the home, fire department spokeswoman Blair Skinner said.
The victim has not been identified, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Two dogs were found dead inside the home, while another dog survived the blaze, Skinner said.
The third fire took place in a house in Howard County around 4 a.m., according to officials.
The Howard County Fire Department arrived to find smoke coming out of a two-story house in the 11000 block of Guilford Road near Annapolis Junction. No injuries were reported.
Officials said the house had been converted to four separate apartments. Responders opened the attic, roof, walls and ceilings to extinguish the fire, which had spread in the void spaces throughout the house, according to a fire department statement.
Fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire. The Red Cross is assisting the eight displaced by the blaze.