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3-Alarm Fire breaks out near recently boarded up Baltimore property

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 17:35:54-05

BALTIMORE — Folks living near West 22nd Street in North Baltimore woke up to a massive fire around 5 Wednesday morning.

It broke out near a property that WMAR2 News has highlighted in the past.

"To literally see the building up in flames is a different kind of feeling that you...you really can't describe it," said Jeane Baker who leased a space on the bottom floor in the neighboring space less than a month ago all to find it gutted by Wednesday morning's fire.

Though the fire broke out in what was supposed to be a vacant building, officials say people were inside and managed to get out safely on their own.

"They actually self-evacuated. We don't if they were squatters or not because it's our understanding that the building is vacant and has been vacant," said a Baltimore Fire Department official.

A landlord next door, who's building experienced water damage at the very least, woke up to a phone call about the fire.

"The first priority is to make sure that all my tenants are good and they are. There's a whole story that goes along with the 2 slum landlords that owned this place and I've been dealing with them and the city and housing and fire marshals for like 2 years," said Mario Bognanni.

2 months ago to the day, WMAR2 news covered the story showing the dire conditions residents there were living in as tenants made pleas for the city to step in.

Then, the city did which led to the building being boarded up, forcing tenants to vacate the Charles Village building.

Since, the flames rushed through the building damaging properties adjacent to it as Mario Bognanni and his tenants are forced to manage the spill over.

Fire officials are still working to determine the cause of the fire. We'll provide updates as they become available.