Man injured as apartment fires displace residents

The Baltimore Sun

Fires in two apartment buildings yesterday - one in Northeast Baltimore about noon and the other about 5 p.m. in Baltimore County near Reisterstown Road Plaza - injured at least one resident and displaced many others, authorities said.

Also yesterday, two male residents of a house in the Orangeville community were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, the result of a malfunctioning gas furnace and kitchen stove.

Their conditions were not available.

The fire in the county was reported about 5 p.m. in a three-story apartment building in the 6900 block of Marsue Drive, a few blocks from the city line. Several residents were driven into the sub-freezing cold.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters from Pikesville volunteer and career stations in Randallstown and Garrison rescued 11 residents from balconies, said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the county Fire Department.

She said the fire broke out in a basement laundry room and was one of at least five fires in the apartment building within an hour. Each of those fires has been ruled arson, Armacost said.

The apartment management is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, Armacost said. Anyone with information can call the county fire investigation bureau at 410-887-4870.

The earlier fire, in a three-story apartment building in the 900 block of Belgian Ave. in the Pen Lucy neighborhood, sent one male resident to the hyperbaric chamber at Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of smoke inhalation, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a city Fire Department spokesman.

Cartwright said the fire extensively damaged one second-floor apartment and caused smoke and water damage to others. The fire was under control in about 30 minutes.

The Maryland Transit Administration sent buses to the fire scenes to provide temporary shelter for displaced residents, said Jawauna Greene, an MTA spokeswoman.

The causes of the fires are under investigation.

At 6:40 p.m., firefighters entered a rowhouse in the 4800 block of Orville Ave. and removed two unconscious men from a second-floor room. Cartwright said the men were suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide from a malfunctioning gas furnace and stove.

He said the men were treated and their conditions evaluated at University of Maryland Medical Center.

"Their blood levels for CO were in a very dangerous level," he said.

Cartwright said four residents of a house next door smelled the gas but were not affected.

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