Two persons died and four were injured in a fire yesterday morning at a three-family residence in Mount Rainier, Prince George's County fire officials reported.
Fire officials said the blazze, which began at about 5:37 a.m. at 3423 Eastern Ave., was ignited by a cigarette left smoldering in a stuffed chair in a basement apartment.
Killed were Glenn H. Lawson, 37, who lived in the apartment where the fire occured, and Kevin Fries, 22, of 2024 Peabody St., Hyattsville, who was sleeping in a rear bedroom in the first floor apartment.
Fire officials said the basement contained one exit in the rear, which was not easily accessible to Lawson. The first floor had one exit and the second floor contained two, according to Chief Robert Mutchler, of the Mount Rainier volunteer Fire Department.
Mutchler said the two-story building, a one-family home that had been converted into three apartments contained no smoke detectors. The building is owned by Christine Temple, whose sons live there, fire officials said.
Gloria Roper, a neighbor, said she called the fire department after she saw the building "engulfed in smoke" shortly after 5 a.m. Roper said she saw two of the residents of the building escape by climbing out a first-floor window, about eight feet from the ground.
About 10 people were in the apartment, Mutchler said. Duncan Monroe, of the Prince George's fire prevention bureau, said one of the building's residents had apparently tried to put out the fire with a garden hose before five officials arrived.
Sharon L. Stack, 20, and penny Stack, 15, who were on the first floor when the fire broke out, were treated for smoke inhalation. Sharon Stack is listed in satisfactory condition at Leland Memorial Hospital. Penny Stack was treated and released at Prince George's General Hospital.
Robert Temples, 25, suffered a minor laceration while trying to rescue a friend fire officials said. He was treated at the scene.
Adrain Vroegirdney, a volunteer fire fighter, was treated for an eye injury at Prince George's General and released, fire officials said.
Monroe said the two dead men apparently were sleeping when the fire awaken in time to escape.
The fire caused $13,000 in damage to the building.