One man was killed and six others, including children ages 5 and 3, were hospitalized Thursday morning after a home in Glen Burnie caught fire amid extreme cold.
Firefighters rushed into the basement of a home after midnight and pulled three adults and the 5-year-old from the flames. The man, thought by fire officials to be in his 40s, was later pronounced dead.
The 5-year-old and a 32-year-old woman are in critical condition. Authorities initially reported that the child was 4.
Two more adults and the 3-year-old were able to escape from the first floor and were hospitalized with minor injuries.
It appears the fire started in the basement. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze after about 30 minutes.
Several other fires broke out in the D.C. area Thursday morning, forcing residents to run from their homes and into single-digit temperatures.
A space heater sparked one blaze at a home on Emerald Drive in Germantown. The home sustained $750,000 in damage and is now unsafe to occupy. One firefighter fell through the floor of the home and is expected to be OK. One person was displaced.
Prince George's County and Arlington firefighters also extinguished blazes. No one was reported injured.
A 3-alarm fire at a garden-style closed Carlin Springs Road between Columbia Pike and Leesburg Pike in Fairfax County about 5:30 a.m. Eight people were rescued off their balconies. EMS gave one-person a check-up, but everyone else is expected to be fine.
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"We left everything in the apartment," one resident said, wrapped in a blanket against single-digit temperatures. "We ran out without anything."
The water used to extinguish the flames froze quickly, creating hazardous terrain for firefighters. Ice sickles formed on the balconies.
Residents were taken to lobbies of nearby buildings for warmth and waited for heated buses meant to provide shelter. With temperatures so cold, it's possible to get frostbite in 30 minutes or less.
One fire consumed part of a Herndon home on the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive and a car outside, Chopper4 video shows. Three people escaped the burning home and two were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters have not determined a cause for most of the blazes. But during winter, it's important to exercise caution with heating appliances including space heaters.