Family home lost, animals killed in Federal Hill fire

Officials say debris made fighting fire difficult

BALTIMORE - Everyone made it out safely, but a home that had been cherished by a family for more than 50 years was lost.

As relatives of the family battled emotions over the loss, firefighters continued to battle the 2-alarm fire at 7 a.m. that began at about 3:30.

Flames quickly ran through the 3-story row home in the 1200 block of Battery Avenue. They then spread to two adjacent homes. 

PHOTOS | Home on Battery Ave collapses in fire

At the time the fire broke out there was an elderly couple, two children and one adult male inside the home. They all suffered minor smoke inhalation and were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
A woman who identified herself as the sister to the homeowner said when she got the call from police, she thought it was a prank, but when they put her brother on the phone, the reality of the situation hit her like a ton of bricks.
"He was just so freaked out and hysterical," Nancy Elkins said. "...All I could think about was the dogs and all that were in the house and that they got everybody out of the house."
She said two dogs, two birds and a turtle were killed in the fire. 
About 80 firefighters worked to get control of smoke and flames and eventually had to evacuate the home after a floor collapse. Following that incident, a couple of firefighters were sent to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Officials say crews had a difficult time controlling the fire because the home is currently under renovation and there was debris such as clothing and cardboard both inside and outside the home.
Response to the incident affected traffic Monday morning ( more ).
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