A dozen families were burned out of their Meade Village apartments Wednesday when a three-alarm fire swept through their building, county fire officials said yesterday.
Lt. Robert Kornmann, a fire department spokesman, said one firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion in the blaze, which was was started by a child playing with matches.
William Peters, the firefighter, was taken by ambulance to Howard County General Hospital, treated and released, a hospital spokesman said.
According to Clifton Martin, a county housing authority spokesman, 12 families living at 1677 Meade Village Circle were displaced by the fire.
Five of the apartments were not heavily damaged, and those tenants were expected to move back into their apartments yesterday.
Five other families have been reassigned to vacant units within the housing complex, and the two other families were given certificates for Section 8 housing, enabling them to choose from apartment buildings around the county.
The fire started on the top floor of the three-story building just after 4:30 p.m.
When firefighters arrived, flames already were burning through the roof, Lieutenant Kornmann said.
The fire, which caused $450,000 in damage, was brought under control an hour later.