BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An early morning house fire claims the life of a Parkville man, who has since been identified as 28-year-old Daniel James Hutchins.
His pet dog also died in the blaze on Lackawanna Avenue.
The man’s girlfriend, Samantha Hannibal was too distraught to speak on camera, but she tells WJZ the only reason she was able to escape from the burning house that’s now destroyed is because she fell asleep by mere chance on the first floor. She ran out of the front door but unfortunately could not go back in to save her boyfriend.
Those who knew Hutchins faced the aftermath of the fire that killed him.
His girlfriend Samantha Hannibal tells WJZ off-camera the couple and a friend were all sleeping inside the Lackawanna Avenue home when a fire broke out. Hutchins was asleep in the upstairs bedroom, and Hannibal and the friend in the living room. The two were able to escape, but the fire caused the staircase to collapse, trapping Hutchins and his dog Deuce inside.
“By the time they got here, they were knocking it down. That’s when the smoke really built with the flames at least 100 feet in the air,” says neighbor Robert Turner.
Baltimore County fire officials tell WJZ they got the call before 4 a.m. Sunday morning. It took dozens of firefighters at least half an hour to knock down the flames enough for them to go inside and recover Hutchins body.
“When they arrived they had heavy fire conditions from the dwelling behind us to the point where it was unsafe to enter the structure,” says Lt. Tim Rostkowski with Baltimore County Fire Department.
Friends of the victim set up a GoFundme page to help the family who lost everything, including their other dog Emmy Lou. She escaped the fire but hasn’t been seen since.
“To lose your home and all your belongings is one thing, but to lose your loved ones, that can’t be replaced,” says Turner.
The victim’s girlfriend has a 4-year-old daughter and luckily she was not home when flames broke out and no one else was hurt in this fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but at this point, officials don’t think it’s suspicious.
To contribute to the family’s GoFundMe page CLICK HERE.