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One injured, 11 apartments damaged in Sykesville fire

An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties.
An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties. (Courtesy Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department)

One person was injured and more than a dozen were displaced after an apartment building in Sykesville caught fire Saturday morning, requiring more than two hours and fire companies from four counties to extinguish.

One occupant of a first floor apartment in the unit block of Bethway Drive was transported to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, according to Bill Flanagan, public information officer Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department, which was first to arrive and led the response.

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The fire damaged 11 apartments and displaced 15 occupants, Flanagan said. The Red Cross was called in to assist. The firefighters were also able to rescue pets from the building.

An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties.
An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties. (Courtesy Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department)

Sykesville fire, along with companies from Gamber, Winfield, West Friendship and Ellicott City, responded to the building fire on Bethway Drive in Sykesville, after the original dispatch of a working fire with rescue at 4:25 a.m.

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First arriving units from Sykesville found heavy fire showing from the single-bedroom basement apartment, according to Flanagan. The first alarm fire dispatch included water tankers and water supply units as the area around Bethway Drive and parts of Gaither Road do not have fire hydrants. Water was shuttled in from Gaither Road and Riverview Trail.

An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties.
An apartment building in the unit block of Bethway Drive caught fire early Saturday, April 3, 2021. The Sykesville-Freedom District FIre Department led the response, which included fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties. (Courtesy Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department)

Additional fire departments from Carroll, Howard and Baltimore were dispatched for the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) to help with the first alarm units. Two additional fire engines were requested because the fire had penetrated the walls and ceiling to the adjoining first floor and second floor apartments. Soon after the second alarm was requested which brought in units from Carroll, Baltimore, Howard and Frederick counties.

Efforts to fight this fire were difficult, according to Flanagan, due to the building’s wooden interior, constructed in the 1970s. The fire was placed under control at 6:44 am.

The cause of the fire is under investigation from the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s office.

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