Mother, infant escape Baltimore fire that leaves five dead

Barbara Hopkins hugged her grandson Mick outside her son’s Baltimore house, where five died in a fire Thursday.


Barbara Hopkins hugged her grandson Mick outside her son’s Baltimore house, where five died in a fire Thursday.

BALTIMORE — Shade Worrell and her youngest son narrowly escaped a fire that tore through her east Baltimore home Thursday, killing five people.

The 19-year-old described choking on smoke as she scrambled to a first-floor window with her 2-month-old son. She dropped him out the window and into the hands of a relative before climbing out herself.


Worrell’s two other children were among five who died. Darryl Stewart III, 4, and K’niyah Scott, 2, were sleeping in another room. The other victims were Worrell’s mother and two other children.

Fire Chief Kevin Cartwright said that when firefighters arrived at the home in the Frankford neighborhood about 2 a.m.,intense flames were coming out of every window and door.

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‘‘It looked like an inferno, and it’s surprising that anyone survived in this fire,’’ he said.

It took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the blaze under control. One man jumped from a second-floor window to escape, Cartwright said. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center,where he was in stable condition.

Two firefighters were also injured and were in stable condition.


Hours later, family members and neighbors stood on a sidewalk near the home, crying and consoling one another.

Debbie Boyd, whose sister Nancy Worrell was the one adult killed in the fire, said her sister would not have left the burning home with any of the children inside. ‘‘My heart is hurting,’’ she said.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake visited with the family Thursday afternoon.


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