Cell phone video from the ground shows the ball of fire, which consumed the third floor of the garden style apartment building on Eastview Terrace in Abingdon’s Constant Friendship community.
"He's yelling, 'Fire! Fire! Get out!'” recalled Gordon, “So I grabbed the baby and Jonathan grabbed us and we went outside and got a blanket and the flames were outrageous. The chimney looked like it's where it started and once the chimney fell, it just flew up in the air."
Reports of the fire came in just before 9 a.m. Tuesday drawing crews from Abingdon, Joppa Magnolia, Bel Air, Kingsville, APG, White Marsh and Aberdeen. The fire eventually grew to two alarms.
"While in route, they were advised there were potentially people trapped as well. The first arriving units had heavy fire showing from the first through the third floors,” said Rich Gardiner, the Harford County Volunteer Fire spokesman. “Upon further investigation, they had the fire contained to the third floor area. Extinguishment took about an hour and 15 minutes. Six units were damaged or destroyed in one way or the other."
In the aftermath of the fire, the building was condemned leaving 23 people displaced. The American Red Cross is working to help them with food, casework and other emergency services.
"There's nothing left at all... at least for these houses,” said Gordon, “I'm not sure about the ones behind it, but these three are definitely gone."
ABC2 News was told no one was injured in the fire, but a worker at the complex may have rescue a dog from one of the units.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire. The damage has been estimated at a minimum of $500,000.