The Baltimore Sun

Firefighters to discuss blaze with residents

Firefighters will meet with residents at 7 tonight to respond to questions about the Tuesday afternoon fire at a Randallstown apartment complex that displaced more than a dozen families.

The fire, which is under investigation, damaged 17 apartments in the three adjoining brick buildings in the Brookhaven Estates complex, said Lt. John Cromwell, a county fire spokesman.

"Whenever there's a significant fire or fire death, very typically the fire departments walk through the community to talk about the value of having smoke detectors and to answer questions," Cromwell said.

The firefighters - both paid and volunteers - will also distribute smoke alarms to residents, he said.

The Fire Department is working with the property management company to make sure there are working "pull" type fire alarms in all buildings, smoke detectors in hallways and laundry rooms, accessible fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting, Cromwell said.

"Deficiencies have been noted," he said, adding that whether fire detection equipment was working in the buildings damaged by the fire is part of the investigation.

Tonight's meeting will be in front of one of the damaged buildings, at 5442 Old Court Road.

Laura Barnhardt


Man sought in robbery of convenience store last month

Police were searching for a man suspected in the armed robbery last month of a convenience store in the Catonsville area.

A man entered the Royal Farms store in the 4000 block of Wilkens Ave. at 3:40 p.m. July 1, walked up to the counter after obtaining a soft drink, displayed a handgun and demanded money from the cash register, Baltimore County police said. A clerk removed an undisclosed amount of money out of the cash drawer and handed it to the man, who then fled. A store video camera captured the suspect entering the store, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP. Callers to Metro Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Towson University

Grant to boost enrollment in science and technology program

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2 million grant to Towson University to support a program designed to increase the number of local students graduating from the university with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the school announced.

The program is a partnership between Towson University's Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and Baltimore City Community College.

The program will work with students from several Baltimore City high schools, including Western High School and Polytechnic Institute.

It aims to engage students in science and technology disciplines and recruit them for Towson University and BCCC programs.

The program also provides mentoring and tutoring, scholarships and "summer bridge programs" designed to allow transfer students to prepare socially and academically for college studies.

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