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Md. firefighters escape injury in 3-alarm fire flashover

More than 200 firefighters responded to the warehouse fire; one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion


The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — A three-alarm fire raged at a Baltimore County plastic company on Tuesday afternoon, drawing more than 200 firefighters to battle the blaze.

Thick black smoke streamed from the warehouse at Adell Plastics in the 4500 block of Annapolis Road in Baltimore Highlands. The smoke was visible for miles.

Plastic pellets stored in the warehouse were burning, said Lt. Paul Massarelli, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.

The fire was reported at 1:07 p.m., and the first crews saw smoke and fire before they even arrived and called for more crews. Once at the warehouse, firefighters called for a second alarm, Massarelli said.

When the first firefighters went inside, "the fire flashed over them" and they retreated outside and called for a third alarm, Massarelli said.

Firefighters attacked the fire from the outside because the building was unsafe, with some of the walls collapsing. Two hours after the fire began, fire was still shooting from part of the building as firefighters on ladder trucks poured water on the building from multiple angles.

All of the employees got out safely without injuries. One firefighter was being treated for heat exhaustion and had been taken to a hospital, Massarelli said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and the amount of the damage wasn't available. Massarelli said he expects the damage to be extensive.

Angela Glorioso, 34, was working in the warehouse when she said she saw an orange glow from a part of the building where there wouldn't normally be any heat-related activity. The company takes plastic, melts it down, adds chemicals and turns it into pellets that are sold to other companies, she said.

"I started screaming: 'Fire! Fire! Fire!" Glorioso said.

Glorioso and the other warehouse workers scrambled out of the building. Glorioso said she called 911 and ran around to the front office to alert the staff to the fire.

Company officials at the scene declined to comment.

Shortly after 5 p.m., a team from BGE shut off a gas line and flames that had been shooting from one side of the building were no longer visible

More than 200 firefighters and dozens of pieces of equipment responded to the fire. Baltimore County crews came from as far away as Middle River. Crews also came from Baltimore City, Howard County, Anne Arundel County and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Massarelli said it would take several more hours to bring the fire under control.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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