Fire in West Baltimore damages four houses


A fire believed to have been started by a child in a backyard set four row houses ablaze yesterday in West Baltimore, authorities said.

No one was hurt in the two-alarm blaze that caused extensive damage to four homes in the 1900 block of Walbrook Avenue, said Acting Battalion Chief George McKnight.

The cause was under investigation, but the fire officer said it appeared a child may have started the blaze by setting fire to an overstuffed chair. The child had not been identified by police. There was no immediate estimate of damage, but Chief McKnight said the fire left all four houses uninhabitable.

"This has caused great personal tragedy for me because I was in the middle of remodeling my house," said Darlene Corckett, who lived in one of the homes.

Ms. Corckett, who was not home when the fire broke out, said she lost all of her possessions.

Firefighters had the late afternoon blaze under control in about 35 minutes.

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