- Associated Press - Thursday, October 11, 2012

BALTIMORE (AP) — An intense fire that ripped through a row house in northeast Baltimore early Thursday claimed the lives of an adult and four children, a fire official said.

Kevin Cartwright, public information officer for the Baltimore City Fire Department, said firefighters were called around 2 a.m. and arrived to find heavy fire and smoke coming from the first and second floors of the home.

Mr. Cartwright said there were “intense flames coming out of every window and door in this structure.”

One man jumped from a second-floor window to escape the blaze, he said. The man was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for treatment, where he was in stable condition. Others, including a woman who handed a baby out of the home, escaped before firefighters arrived at the scene. Mr. Cartwright said he believes the baby is in good condition.


Firefighters found the bodies of five people during a search-and-rescue operation. The victims are believed to be a grandmother and four grandchildren, Mr. Cartwright said. Their identities were not immediately released.

Two firefighters were injured while battling the blaze when one fell through the second floor of the house into the basement. Both firefighters were taken to Bayview and were in stable condition.

The fire was brought under control around 3:45 a.m. Hours later, officials were still at the scene investigating while about 20 neighbors watched from a roped-off area. The exterior of the two-story brick house was blackened by the fire, and wood beams in the roof were visible.

Barbara Hopkins, who was standing outside, said her son had been in the fire and was being treated for third-degree burns at Bayview.

“He’s severely burned,” she said. “This is awful.”