Midday fire displaces 3 families in city; No one is injured in Morrell Park blaze


Ida Ryer, dressed in her powder-blue nightgown, watched helplessly yesterday as firefighters fought a three-alarm blaze that tore through the second floor of her brick rowhouse in Southwest Baltimore.

The fire began about 11: 48 a.m. in the 2500 block of Washington Blvd. in Morrell Park and damaged four properties, according to Fire Department officials. No one was injured, but the Red Cross said about 25 people from three families were displaced by the fire. The cause is under investigation.

Said Ryer, 81: "I see those poor people on television dealing with fires. Now I know what it's like."

Ryer said she probably will stay with her daughter in Anne Arundel County until she can move back into her house, which she has owned since 1947.

Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres said the fire was believed to have started in an apartment above the In A Funk pawnshop and spread to both sides. Torres said the AG & Harp's Place saloon -- to the right of the pawnshop -- and two houses to the left sustained severe damage to their second floors, Torres said.

Betty Mitchell, 71, who lives next to the bar, was treated with oxygen after she was evacuated from the building.

Torres said most of the fire and smoke damage occurred in four second-floor apartments. He said all but one apartment was occupied.

"All the occupants got out OK and appear to be OK," Torres said.

Ryer said she was watching television when two men from the bar broke her door open and told her to leave because of the fire.

"So I grabbed my pocketbook and got out," she said.

Pub Date: 1/04/99

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