Engine 91 (Long Reach) found fire showing from the second and third floors, prompting Battalion Chief 1 to request a second-alarm.
Heavy fire conditions, coupled with deteriorating building conditions, precluded an aggressive interior attack, so firefighters launched a defensive operation.
However, aggressive interior operations inside of the adjoining exposure buildings prevented the fire from spreading to either of the exposure buildings.
The fire took several hours to bring under control. It also required more than 60 firefighters from four counties as well as numerous staff and support personnel.
In all, 28 units were deemed uninhabitable - 16 units due to the fire, 6 from water and smoke damage, and 10 due to the water being shut off because of the firefight. Displaced residents were assisted by the management company and the American Red Cross.
Firefighters from Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties assisted Howard County Fire & Rescue with the operation.
Howard County Fire Marshals are investigating the cause of the fire. No damage estimate is available.
One firefighter was transported to a local hospital for a minor injury.