RANDALLSTOWN (WJZ) — Two of the five people injured in an apartment fire in Randallstown early Wednesday morning were forced to jump from a third-floor balcony as flames ravaged the building.
A number of residents, including Sal Smith, were told to get what they can out of their homes Wednesday because officials are not sure when they will be able to return home.
“I spent the night at a friend’s house and I’m just now coming back. Like, everything got burnt up!” he said.
Smith wasn’t home when the fire erupted through the roof, engulfing eight units as fire crews worked to knock back the flames.
“I woke up to noise like alarms sounds and lights and I’m like, ‘What is going on?’ Northwest Crossing Garden apartments resident Connie Wilson said. “I looked out my window and the roof was on fire. I could just see everything.”
Five people were injured in the blaze, according to authorities, including a firefighter who was suffering from heat exhaustion.
The residents’ injuries were serious, but non-life threatening, but they were still taken to Sinai Hospital. The county firefighter was transported to Northwest Hospital with minor injuries.
The fire broke out around 2:16 a.m. Wednesday at the complex at 3421 Barry Paul Rd. The Baltimore County Fire Department said the fire could be seen coming out of the roof of the building. The fire was knocked out around 3:07 a.m.
Seventy-three people, including more than 20 children, were forced out of their homes as a result of the damage. Officials took them to the leasing office as crews finished with clean-up.
The American Red Cross is working with the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services and the Baltimore County Emergency Management after the area agencies activated an emergency shelter for residents displaced in the fire.
The shelter, located at the Randallstown Community Center on 3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, Md., is open Wednesday night and residents in need will be helped with finding alternative housing Thursday.
An electrical inspector said a firewall did its job protecting part of the building and some residents may be able to move back into their homes soon.
About 100 firefighters responded to the scene with around 30 pieces of equipment.
The middle of the building was hollowed out with damage on all floors of the building.
The cause remains under investigation.