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East Baltimore fire claims lives of 6 adults, kids

A fire at rowhouse in east Baltimore killed six adults and children early Tuesday, and spread to another three homes, a fire official said.

Baltimore fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said firefighters were called to battle the fire around 4:45 a.m. and arrived to find a two-story brick home fully engulfed in flames.

Cartwright said firefighters initially attacked the fire from the interior, but wind gusts intensified the blaze and they were forced to retreat and battle it from the outside. Once firefighters suppressed the fire, they searched the home and found the six victims, he said. Cartwright said he does not know the ages or identities of the victims, or how they were related.

The fire also damaged three other homes, Cartwright said.

Cartwright said he does not know what caused the fire and investigators were at the scene. He said he also does not know if the home had working smoke alarms.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Shirley Braxton, who lives in a home damaged by the fire, said her daughter opened the front door and shouted that their neighbors’ home was on fire.

“I said, ‘Get my grandson. Y’all just get out of the house,'” Braxton said. “The only thing I was thinking about was just getting out.”

She said she had known her deceased neighbors for more than 20 years. “They were a very nice couple, a sweet couple” who had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she said.

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