A man in his 60s and an 8-year-old boy were killed last night in a fire at an East Baltimore rowhouse, where a woman and a 5-year-old boy escaped just before the roof caved in, city firefighters said.
The blaze started about 6:55 p.m. on the third floor of a three-story stone building in the 1000 block of Valley St., gutting the house and severely damaging a vacant adjacent one, fire officials said.
Fire officials identified the man as 66-year-old James Honeycutt, who occupied a third-floor apartment.
The name of the child, who lived in a second floor apartment, was not immediately released.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene. The woman and the 5-year-old, who also lived there, were not harmed.
Investigators were at the scene, but said they hadn't determined the cause of the blaze.
More than 50 neighbors crowded the street and watched as firefighters pulled the bodies of the man and boy from the charred house and carried them off on stretchers.
Using garbage cans, firefighters dumped large amounts of soot from the second- and third-story windows.
A woman in the neighborhood said one family has lived in the house for 27 years and that the children often play in front of her house across the street.
She said the older victim was retired and used to be in the shipbuilding business.
One firefighter who had been battling the blaze said it appeared the blaze began shortly after a mattress caught fire and ignited a nearby wall.
Outside on the ground, lying next to a pile of debris, was a badly scorched mattress.