One injured in apartment blaze


One man was hospitalized and at least six people were forced from their homes after a West Baltimore apartment building burst into flames yesterday, fire officials said.

A natural gas explosion was the likely cause of the fire, and a hole in the rear of the building spanned four apartments, but as of last night no official determination had been made, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a city Fire Department spokesman.

Linda Foy, a spokeswoman for BGE, said there did not appear to be a problem with the company's equipment at the building, in the 2600 block of Garrison Blvd.

Residents reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke out about 6:30 p.m., Cartwright said.

The fire was burning though the roof and rear of the 2 1/2 -story brick apartment building when firefighters arrived, Cartwright said. Firefighters were forced to flee the six-unit structure while trying to put the fire out because of the building's instability.

The one-alarm fire was extinguished in an hour, and the building was later condemned.

One resident was burned on his face and arms and was taken to the burn center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was in serious condition last night, according to Cartwright. The Red Cross was at the scene of the fire to help displaced residents.

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