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Fire at senior apartment high rise displaces residents

Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 19:00:16-05

BALTIMORE — Paramedics rush a woman to a nearby ambulance after a report of fire in a six-story, senior high-rise building on Clarks Lane in Northwest Baltimore forced an evacuation.

"Terrible. A lot of smoke everywhere, and I had to make sure my patient was safe,” said Sherry Haley, a caregiver working on the fifth floor, “I got this gentleman over there. He helped me bring her down those stairs, and it was a terrible experience. She's hollering. She's yelling, 'Don't leave her! Don't leave her!'"

Still others moved outside their units to their balconies to avoid the heavy smoke inside.

"We do have some people on the balcony who were told to shelter in place just until firefighters were able to get to them, but they weren't complaining of any injuries, just some coughing and maybe respiratory problems," said Blair Adams of the Baltimore City Fire Department, "We have a lot of seniors that live in this particular building so we had to go up to each and every floor to make sure that everyone was evacuated. Some we took down stairwells and some via the elevator, they managed to get down."

Firefighters erected warming tents outside the Imperial Condominiums so evacuees could wait for the smoke to clear and paramedics transported two people with non-life threatening injuries to local hospitals, but it appears the fire was contained in a single apartment and those who live here are counting themselves lucky.

"A lot and the building is just so wonderful, because as my boyfriend said, the building is like a third Orthodox, a third African-American and a third everybody else,” said Sherry Haley, “and we're just all down here being safe and happy to be alive."