Retired firefighter dies in fire at home $225,000 in damage done to apartment; smoking suspected


A retired Baltimore firefighter died early Sunday in a blaze that started in his home, county firefighters said yesterday.

Firefighters found the body of Marvin Thomas Burkindine, 63, of the 6900 block of Glen Ridge Circle in Glen Burnie in the hallway of his apartment after they extinguished the blaze.

Officials said Mr. Burkindine died of smoke inhalation.

A county police officer discovered the apartment in flames shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday when he went there to investigate a complaint about someone screaming behind the building, county police said. As he walked toward the building, Officer Keith J. Light said, he smelled smoke and could see flames in a second-floor apartment, which officials later learned was Mr. Burkindine's.

As Officer Light ran to the front of the building, the sliding glass doors of the apartment exploded and the apartment was engulfed in flames, police said.

Because the building has no fire alarm, Officer Light began to beat on neighbors' doors to alert them, police said.

He and another officer went to apartments in the basement and on the second floor but were unable to reach third-floor occupants because of the thick smoke, police said.

County firefighters arrived quickly and put out the flames just before 2:45 a.m.

The Fire Department is investigating the fire, which caused $225,000 in damage to the apartment building and its contents, a department spokesman said. A fire investigator on the scene told police that Mr. Burkindine might have fallen asleep on his living room couch while he was smoking.

Police said Mr. Burkindine's son, Mitchell Burkindine, confirmed that his father was a heavy smoker.

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