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‘It didn’t take much to knock it down’: Wind topples vacant home on East 28th Street

 Wind topples vacant home on East 28th Street
Posted at 7:28 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 14:06:37-04

BALTIMORE — The Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood said it warned the city about a vacant home on E. 28th Street. They called it a public safety threat.

“The home was vacant for about 10 or 15 years,” said Clarence Davis. “Recently there was work being done on it but it stopped.”

Neighbors tell WMAR-2 News they would have preferred to see the home in the 1800 block demolished. It eventually was but only after violent winds worked it’s way through the area last week.

“It sounded like a big old bomb went off,” said neighbor Judy Pearson.

Pearson said she was in bed when she heard the collapse.

“It shook the whole house,” she said.

“At first I thought it was a car or something,” said Clarence Davis. “I look outside and sure enough it was the house. There were bricks everywhere. The firetrucks came.”

Pearson said she called 911.

“I was worried someone could have been hurt or trapped,” she said.

Luckily no one was hurt.

Following the collapse, the city moved to perform an emergency demolition of the property.

According to the Department of Housing and Community Development the owners had permits to do work on site. They were reportedly rehabbing the home.

But neighbors say they hadn’t seen construction crews on site for at least a month.

A spokesperson with DHCD said inspectors discovered crews had gutted out the upper floors without supporting it.

“In addition, we were working with this owner to have them properly stabilize the building to prevent this from happening,” said a DHCD spokesperson. “They did the stabilization work but everything appears to have stalled before this partial collapse.”

It’s unclear why work stalled. Now the property has to be properly back filled and crews need to see if a weather needs to be built to protect a nearby home.

Neighbors said it could have been worse.

“Thank God it happened when no one was out,” said Davis. “Nobody got hurt. That was the safe part about it but now we got another empty house in the community that we need to solve.”