Heat and humidity have prompted the Maryland Department of the Environment to issue a Code Red ozone alert for the second straight day today, when the heat index is expected to hit 105 to 106 degrees by this afternoon.
Yesterday's temperature in Baltimore reached 95 degrees about p.m. at the Maryland Science Center in the Inner Harbor, a reading that didn't shatter any records. The local record for June 25 was recorded a year ago at 99 degrees.
Officials said that high temperatures, bright sun and pollutants -- primarily car exhaust -- result in unhealthy air. A Code Red alert is issued when smog particles reach more than 125 parts per billion, high enough to violate a federal anti-pollution law and threaten the health of children, the elderly and those with heart and breathing problems.
The American Lung Association of Maryland recommended that those vulnerable to the heat reduce outdoor activity.
Yesterday, Dr. Charles Fortenberry, an emergency room physician at Liberty Medical Center in Northwest Baltimore, said, "I've seen some increased activity with patients complaining of chest pains no doubt exacerbated by the heat."
The National Weather Service also has issued a heat advisory -- an alert to people doing heavy labor outside or those who suffer from heart or lung diseases.
"If you thought Thursday was hot, just wait for Friday," said meteorologist Chris Strong of the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.
Just before the city temperature peaked yesterday, a fire broke out in three rowhouses in the 2700 block of Tivoly Ave. in Northeast Baltimore.
The fire went to four alarms, drawing more than 70 firefighters.
Pub Date: 6/26/98