A one-alarm fire in an apartment house last night forced the evacuation of 14 people, none of whom was injured, Howard County fire officials said.
All of the displaced residents at 5854 Stevens Forest Road in Oakland Mills will be given temporary housing, said fire Lt. Jeff King.
Lieutenant King said the fire began in a third-floor apartment and was reported at 9:16 p.m.
One adult and five children who lived in the apartment escaped before flames raced through the dwelling, he said.
Ghyslaine Leone, who resided in an adjoining apartment in the brick building, said she was watching television with her two children when someone banged on their front door and yelled there was a fire.
She said she didn't have time to grab any valuables because she and her children, ages 5 and 19, "just ran for the door."
Lieutenant King said that the apartment where the fire started was gutted and that a hole was cut in the roof by firefighters battling the blaze.
The adjoining Leone apartment was heavily damaged, as was the apartment underneath the unit where the fire began.
Fire officials said they were investigating the cause of the fire, which was brought under control at 9:42 p.m.