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Seven rescued from house fire, apparent explosion in Baltimore Highlands

At least four homes damaged in blast
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Posted at 11:31 PM, Jun 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 06:59:12-04

It sounded like a bomb and looked like chaos. It was a 2-alarm fire at a house on the 3600 block of Roberts Street in the Baltimore Highlands neighborhood.

Several witnesses said an explosion started the fire around 7 AM Sunday morning. Robert Neal lives next door and can't get back inside his house.

"As you can see inside my house, my whole wall is torn down," says Neal.

The blast threw debris across the road and collapsed the house where it started. Four children and three adults made it out without any serious injuries. 

David Blair says he was on his way to McDonald's for breakfast when he heard the explosion. He says he jumped in with neighbors to help free some of the children from the debris.

"Every was standing yelling, 'Oh, there's children in there!'" he says. "I couldn't just stand there and do nothing."

Blair says he picked up one of the children and carried them to safety.

"She wouldn't let go of my neck. I couldn't break away. That's how tight she had it. She was so scared."

Firefighters said the seven victims were evaluated at the hospital. One is listed in stable condition and received treatment. The other six are in good condition.

Neighbor Alfred Smith's house is now condemned. He says he and his wife smelled gas the night before, but a leak was not found there. The Red Cross is now assisting Smith and others who are without a place to stay.

The Baltimore Fire Department says the cause of the fire is under investigation.