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5 people killed in northeast Baltimore house fire

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 8:20 am

BALTIMORE — An intense fire that ripped through a row house in northeast Baltimore early Thursday has claimed the lives of an adult and four children, a fire official said.

Fire department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright says firefighters were called around 2 a.m. and arrived to find heavy fire and smoke coming from the first and second floors of the home.

"This was literally an inferno," Cartwright said.

One man jumped from a second-floor window to escape the blaze, he said. The man was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for treatment, where he was in stable condition. Others, including a woman who handed a baby out of the home, escaped before firefighters arrived at the scene. Cartwright said he believes the baby is in good condition.

Firefighters found the bodies of five people during a search and rescue operation. The victims are believed to be a grandmother and four grandchildren, Cartwright said.

Two firefighters were injured while battling the blaze when one fell through the second floor of the home into the basement. Both firefighters were taken to Bayview and were in stable condition.

The fire was brought under control around 3:45 a.m. Officials are investigating its cause.