BALTIMORE — Three vacant Baltimore City row homes have been demolished, less than a month after they caught fire and killed three firefighters.
The vacant home that stood at 205 S. Stricker went up in flames on January 24, extending to two others.
Demo started Monday. The Dept of Housing said these are still all privately-owned properties. Costs for demo will be attached to those property owners. What will ultimately happen (i.e. if they go to tax sale for liens unpaid, etc.) remains to be determined. @WMAR2News https://t.co/6IVWNv6HSJ— Abby Isaacs WMAR (@AbbyIsaacsNews) February 17, 2022
Baltimore City firefighters, Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler and Kenneth Lacayo were among those who responded to battle the blaze.
The privately owned vacant home collapsed, trapping the trio, ultimately killing them.
The incident renewed concerns over the city's long lasting issue with vacant homes.
As of January 28, there were 15,032 vacant houses in Baltimore City — 13,560 of which are privately owned.
On January 31, Mayor Brandon Scott directed all City agencies to conduct a 30 day internal review of all existing operations, procedures, and processes related to issues with vacants.
Although the three now empty properties remain privately owned for now, their future is unclear.
According to the City's Department of Housing, costs for the demo will be charged to the property owners.
Neighbors want to see that area revitalized.
“Even if they just put down some grass it would look nice,” said Mosley. “That would be so much better than what we have right now because it just makes the whole street the bad.”
Before sod can be thrown down the area still needs to be cleared of debris.
The Department of Housing says crews are still working to backfill the area. Crews will also need to complete a weather wall at 209 South Stricker. The adjacent building was exposed during demolition.
“I see potential in the area,” said Raheem Muhammad. “I see maybe a recreation center, something really nice. Whatever it is, I see potential.”
What will ultimately happen with the site, whether they go to tax sale for leins unpaid or they get donated remains to be determined.