BALTIMORE — He didn’t see the fire and smoke coming from the rowhouse on North Monestary Avenue, but Colvin Brown heard word that his best friend was found dead inside the burning home.
“I didn’t expect that it would be him until I looked out the window, saw the ambulance coming up and the fire department,” said Brown. “I didn’t know still until I came out of the house, and I couldn’t believe it.”
Neighbors notified firefighters arriving on the scene that someone lived inside the vacant home.
“They came upon a victim that was right at the door that they basically brought out and rescued,” said Baltimore City Fire Commander Roman Clark. “Unfortunately, at that particular time, the individual was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Notifying the next of kin has not been easy.
The unidentified man may have been homeless and living inside the house for more than a year as a squatter, but his best friend says he was much more than that to the whole neighborhood.
“Help you out any way you can. Any way you can. Any way,” said Brown. “Clean out your front. Don’t want nothing. A lot of people gave him stuff, because of the situation he was in. He did anything for you.”
Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the victim died in the fire and not from any other causes.