Man, children escape fire

November 29, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

A Hagerstown man and his three young children escaped their second-floor apartment Friday night as fire ravaged an apartment below.

No one was injured in the fire, which occurred about 9 p.m. at 251/2 N. Mulberry St., Hagerstown Deputy Chief Ron Horn said.

Bobby Baker, 35, said he was watching television when he smelled a faint odor of smoke and walked outside with his 5-year-old son Brian to investigate.

When he walked back inside seconds later, he said he saw the fire coming into the apartment.

He grabbed 4-year-old Makenzi, who is disabled and was on a feeding tube, and 3-year-old Carissa, who was sleeping, and he quickly ushered his family down the back stairs, he said.


Firefighters found heavy fire and smoke on the first floor when they arrived at the three-story brick building, Horn said.

Neighbors said when firefighters knocked out the front window, flames came shooting out into the street.

"The flames were blowing out of that place," said Robert Wolfe, 27, who lives across the street.

Firefighters contained the fire quickly. Damage was extensive, but it was confined to the first-floor apartment, Horn said.

It was likely that the Baker family would be able to return to the apartment Friday night, he said.

A neighbor across the street temporarily took the children inside her apartment and out of the cold.

Tom Brown of the Hagerstown Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire, but had no information at press time Friday.

Neighbors said police have been called to the apartment numerous times in the past week to chase away people who didn't belong there.

Benjamin Fisher Jr., 42, who lives two doors away, said he saw a man run out the back door of the first-floor apartment wearing red boxers and a tan coat that was pulled up around his face as if he was protecting himself from smoke.

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