Baltimore Woman Killed In Morning Fire

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Screams for help and approaching sirens awakened a neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore early Thursday morning.

Mike Schuh was on the scene of that deadly fire shortly thereafter.

The fire didn’t burn for long, but before dawn, it’s ferocity killed the woman who lived there.

Neighbors were pushed out into the cold after a fire raced through a rowhome in Southwest Baltimore. Inside were 70-year-old Brenda Gittings-Sewell and her daughter, 43-year-old Cynthia Sewell.

A next door neighbor says that when he went outside, flames were shooting from the front windows on the first floor and around back. Gittings-Sewell was hanging out the window of the second floor screaming for help.

“The firefighter did search and rescue, and they found two victims inside,” said Chief Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore City Fire Department.

On the first floor, Cynthia Sewell was found still alive.

“She was rescued by our firefighters and treated at the scene and taken to Bayview Burn Center,” Cartwright said.

There she is being treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

But her mother, the one calling for help, didn’t make it. Rescuers found her upstairs.

Now there is a search on for what happened.  Preliminary damage has been estimated at $75,000.

“There’s nothing specific that stands out to us at this moment to suggest arson,” Cartwright said.

The crew was able to keep the fire spreading to adjacent occupied homes.

The fire department is unsure if smoke detectors were present and operating at the time of the blaze.

Cynthia Sewell escaped with severe burns to parts of her body.

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