Arson in East Baltimore kills 3 small children


A 3-year-old girl, her 6-year-old sister and a 1-year-old boy perished in a deliberately set fire at 217 North Collington Avenue in East Baltimore early yesterday, city police said.

Three adults were critically injured in the 4:38 a.m. fire, and were taken to the burn unit at Francis Scott Key Medical Center, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns.

City fire officials concluded that the one-alarm fire had apparently been set with either gasoline or alcohol, Capt. Ronald Baker said.

Homicide detectives would not comment on whether they had suspects or had other evidence of arson.

The two girls were sleeping on the second floor. The rest of the victims may also have been asleep at the time, city police said.

Mildred Harrison, 3, and Rosalie Harrison, 6, were pronounced dead immediately after the fire. Tony Harrison, 1, died at the hospital yesterday afternoon from smoke inhalation, Captain Baker said.

Aside from the two girls, fire officials said they were unable to confirm the relationships of the victims.

The injured adults, Robert Harrison, Dawn Powell and Melvin Fowler, were listed in critical condition at Francis Scott Key.

Homicide detectives hoped to interview them at the earliest opportunity, Detective Thomas Pavis said.

A police officer on routine patrol spotted smoke coming from the house about 4 a.m. Four engines, two trucks and 32 firefighters ** responded to the blaze, which was quickly extinguished.

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