Police rescue 2 children from fire in Cherry Hill Officers catch boy thrown by father


Two Baltimore police officers rescued two infants from a suspicious fire in Cherry Hill that injured five people, none of them seriously, authorities said.

When Officers Lester R. Rutherford and John M. Walker Jr. of the Southern District arrived about 9:25 a.m. at an apartment building at 2303 Round Road, they saw flames coming from a second-floor front apartment, authorities said.

From the window of the apartment directly above, which was filled with thick black smoke, a man yelled to the officers to catch his son, 1-year-old Terry Braxton Jr. The officers clasped their hands together to form a cradle and caught the boy after his father threw him from the window.

Officer Rutherford got a ladder from maintenance employees and rescued 8-month-old Janae Tanner from the same third-floor apartment, where five adults were yelling for help, authorities said.

Firefighters then arrived and, using ladders, brought the adults to safety. Others had escaped from the 12-unit building on their own.

"It gives you a good feeling," Officer Rutherford said of the rescue. "It went fairly smooth. There weren't that many people at home at the time, so that made it a little easier."

He said that it was the third time in his six-year career that he has rescued people from a fire.

Those injured were:

* Renardo James, 8 months old, treated for smoke inhalation and released from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

* Sheila Ellens, 20, treated for smoke inhalation and released from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

* Brittney Roberts, 5, treated for smoke inhalation and released at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

* Police Officer Mary C. Phillips, 31, treated for an injured finger and released from Harbor Medical Center.

* Firefighter Benjamin F. Koerber, 50, of Engine 26, treated for chest discomfort and released from Harbor Medical Center.

Lt. Thurman O. Pugh, a Fire Department spokesman, said the blaze is considered suspicious and is being investigated.

The fire started in a second-floor apartment and caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the building in the Middle Branch Manor Apartments, Lieutenant Pugh said. The second- and third-floor front apartments were gutted and four others had smoke and water damage.

Owners of the apartment complex were making arrangements last night to relocate tenants displaced by the fire, police said.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad