Fire in southwest Baltimore kills woman, 2 kids

By SARAH BRUMFIELD | September 22, 2011 | 1:40 PM EDT

People remove belongings from a fire-damaged brick row house in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011. An early morning blaze killed a woman and two children and damaged nearly a dozen homes in a southwest Baltimore neighborhood, fire officials said. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Officials say a fire in southwest Baltimore killed a woman and two children and damaged nearly a dozen homes.

Fire Chief Kevin Cartwright says the three bodies were found in the home where the fire began about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. He didn't immediately identify them.

Dozens of relatives and friends of the woman gathered around the corner from the home crying and holding each other, but they declined to talk.

By the time residents were allowed to return to the block of two-story brick rowhouses, they found red condemnation notices posted outside seven homes. Windows were ripped out and a jumble of debris including burnt out air conditioners, mattresses, bedposts and couches was piled on the sidewalks outside.

Cartwright says there are no immediate signs of suspicious activity.