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5 Firefighters Injured In Fire At Vacant Curtis Bay House

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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Five firefighters were injured Monday while battling a house fire near the Baltimore City-Anne Arundel County line.

Ron Matz reports that while none of the injuries is serious, one neighbor suffered some major losses.

It was just before 2 a.m. when Henry Lucke took video as flames engulfed a neighbor’s house on Popland Street in Curtis Bay.

“About 1:30 p.m. this morning, I heard windows shattering.  I thought somebody was throwing bottles. There was a big flash of light and I looked out the back window and the whole side of the house was ablaze,” said Lucke. “It was a bad fire, one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The whole roof was on fire. It was ablaze. It was terrible.”

The flames and smoke spread to Karen Clark’s home next door.  One of her cats is still missing; another one was killed.

“The smoke was so thick.  You couldn’t see. My throat is still burning.  It was horrible.  One of my cats died.  I know she didn’t last long.  Another cat is missing,” said Clark.  “I spent the morning trying to find personal items with sentimental value and throwing them in my trunk.  It’s a nightmare and this never should have happened.”

Neighbors say the house at 1502 has been vacant for some time.

“It’s been an empty house for a long time.  It’s been a problem house.  People breaking in.  People sleeping in there.  It’s been abandoned so long.  We’re surprised it didn’t happen in the winter time,” said Loretta Campbell, neighbor.

“People were breaking in next door. This winter they had squatters in there. Nobody seemed to give a hoot about getting them out,” said Clark.

Four firefighters were injured when part of the second floor collapsed. A fifth was hurt in a fall.  The fire was eventually brought under control.

“People used to be neighborly.  Everybody would look out for each other.  Nobody does this anymore.  This is what goes on,” said Campbell.

One Baltimore City firefighter and three Anne Arundel County firefighters were treated at the scene.  The fifth injured firefighter was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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