Two families displaced by the early-morning blaze that killed a retired Baltimore firefighter Sunday have been moved to other apartments in the Glen Ridge complex in Glen Burnie.
County officials declared their smoke- and water-damaged apartments in the 6900 block of Glen Ridge Circle unsafe.
Lt. Robert Kornmann of the county Fire Department said the cause of the blaze is being investigated.
Sharon Hart, 25, who moved into a new apartment Monday, said she and her boyfriend had returned home shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday when they heard an explosion.
"And it was a split second that we started smelling smoke, and our smoke detector went off," she said.
She called 911, while her boyfriend, Jay Corron, banged on neighboring apartment doors to warn residents, Ms. Hart said.
At the same time, a county police officer who was at the complex on an unrelated call saw the sliding glass doors for retired firefighter Marvin Thomas Burkindine's second-floor apartment explode, said police spokesman Officer Randy Bell. The firefighter then ordered the evacuation of the building. Mr. Burkindine, 63, died of smoke inhalation.
County firefighters extinguished the flames by 2:45 a.m. and most residents were allowed back into their apartments later that morning.
Mr. Corron, 25, was arrested after he tried to enter his apartment through the bedroom window while firefighters were trying to put out the blaze, Officer Bell said.
Police followed him, found drugs and drug paraphernalia "in plain view" in the apartment and arrested him, said Officer Bell, who could not say what drugs were found. Mr. Corron was charged with possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.
"He endangered himself and he endangered the persons that had to go in there and get him back out," Officer Bell said.
But Ms. Hart said her boyfriend only went back into the apartment to get shoes and jackets.
Mr. Corron was released on his own recognizance Monday and was out of town yesterday, Ms. Hart said.
The other family that was displaced declined to comment.