- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore firefighter was killed early yesterday battling an intense, two-alarm fire that quickly engulfed a row house in Greektown, causing a floor to collapse on top of him.

Allen Roberts, 40, was the first city firefighter killed in the line of duty since 1995.

The 19-year veteran is survived by a wife and four children, a fire department spokesman said.

Firefighters were called to the home in the 500 block of Macon Street about 2:30 a.m. to find the building engulfed in flames.

Two residents jumped from a second-floor window and received minor injuries, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a spokesman for the fire department.

One neighbor, Jeremy Wloczewski, said that he saw the man who lived in the home sitting on the edge of the second-story window as smoke plumed behind him and that neighbors urged him to jump to safety. The woman already had escaped.

Firefighter Wloczewski said the couple lived in the home with several cats, which apparently did not escape.

Mr. Roberts and two other firefighters were battling the blaze on the first floor when parts of the second floor collapsed, trapping the men inside. The department’s rapid intervention team pulled them to safety within minutes, Chief Cartwright said.

The men were taken to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Firefighter Roberts was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival from burns and injuries from falling debris.

Firefighter Brandon Maddox, a paramedic apprentice, was being treated for serious burns to his hand, Chief Cartwright said. Firefighter James Butler was treated and released.

Chief Cartwright said Firefighter Roberts will be sorely missed.

“We used to work together quite a bit,” he said. “He was a great guy to know — a lot of fun.”

The last firefighter to die in the line of duty was Eric Schaefer, 23, who was killed fighting a fire in a 19th-century building in the Clipper Mill Industrial Park in September 1995.Firefighter Schaefer had been recently married and had been on the department for about a year.

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