ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The stroke of midnight found residents at the condos on Severn Avenue scrambling to escape from the burning building.
They gathered just across First Street outside the Eastport Yacht Club.
“People knocking on their doors, helping each other out, finding one lady---she ran out without shoes on and another resident found her some shoes that she could put on,” said Cee Cee Molineaux-Burrows of the American Red Cross.
Fire engines arriving on the scene found flames spread out over five floors on one side of the building.
“There was a report of ones that were trapped that had a hard time getting out,” said Annapolis Fire Lt. Ken White, “Crews were able to assist 17 civilians evacuating the premises and there was one occupant that had to be carried out by fire crews.”
Investigators believe the fire started on a second floor patio and then spread inside, heavily damaging five units and leaving 10 people displaced.
The support they are receiving during the holiday season extends well beyond their basic needs.
“Yes, we provide some financial support,” said Molineaux-Burrows, “Yes, we provide some ongoing support and access to other resources, but the best thing we can do is just show up and listen and be that support. It means everything, and that’s why we do what we do. It really is.”
While investigators believe the fire started on a patio, the source of that fire is still under investigation.