Families displaced after fire damages Annapolis condo complex

- Investigators in Annapolis are still trying to figure out the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed dozens of condominiums along the water. The fire caused more than $5 million in damage and displaced several people.

Residents of this serene waterfront condominium building went to sleep Thanksgiving night never expecting to wake up to fast moving flames that left them homeless over the holidays.

Firefighters doused hot spots and smoldering personal possessions several hours after a fire swept through dozens of condos in the waterside community of Severn House.

Twenty-two units were destroyed in a fire that investigators said started on the second floor just before 1 a.m. Friday. Flames and smoke quickly spread throughout the building. When firefighters arrived, they went door-to-door to get people out.

One firefighter and a resident were taken to the hospital, but were not badly hurt thanks to working smoke alarms.

“In the actual fire apartment, the occupants were alerted by smoke alarms,” said Annapolis Fire Battalion Chief John Ortlieb. “Some of the occupants were obviously alerted by the noise and others we went door-to-door knocking to make sure everyone got out safely. At around the holiday season, it seems like these fires seem a little more devastating.”

It is unclear how many people were displaced as some of these units are not occupied all year long. The American Red Cross is assisting residents impacted by the fire.

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