Man is killed by fire in his city apartment


A 65-year-old Northeast Baltimore man was killed this morning in a fire that investigators said may have begun when his television caught fire. He was the fifth person to die in a city fire since Friday.

Lt. Thurman Pugh said the victim, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was ill and in bed when the fire started. His body was found beside the bed.

Fire officials said the victim's three-room apartment in the 4200 block of Kenwood Ave. lacked a working smoke detector. One hanging on a wall had no batteries, they said.

"We can't tell if [a smoke detector] would have helped him, but it would have alerted him somehow," Lieutenant Pugh said.

The man's death brings the number of people killed in city fires this year to 17. On Friday, a 44-year-old woman and her two grandchildren, ages 1 and 2, were killed in a rowhouse fire in West Baltimore. Injured in the blaze were a 6-year-old child and a 5-month-old baby.

That fireoccurred the same day the Fire Department announced plans to give out thousands of free smoke detectors to city residents. "We just wish we could get people to pay attention," Lieutenant Pugh said.

On Saturday, a 54-year-old woman died in a fire in the 2300 block of Eutaw Place. Investigators said arson was the cause.

This morning's fire was reported about 5:50 a.m. at the two-story, semi-detached rowhouse near the Baltimore County line. Investigators said the fire was confined to the man's second-floor bedroom.

Lieutenant Pugh said the cause had not been determined, but he said investigators believe it began in his television set, which was badly burned.

The first-floor apartment was vacant. Two families who lived next door to the victim were evacuated.

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