BALTIMORE, Md. — As workers arrived boarding up a pair of rowhomes along Harford Road damaged by the fire, a friend of the victim who name has not yet been released, spoke in human terms of the man who appears to have perished in the smoke and flames.
“Always upbeat. A very talented guy,” said Brad Talley. “We became close through the artwork that I’ve done for him, and we were like brothers. We talked now and then. He will definitely be missed.”
Fire officials say the flames jumped from one rowhouse to another through the attic and roof, but it appears the victim was the only one present in either one.
His fate had already been sealed by the time firefighters reached the second floor.
“Once firefighters were able to gain entry into the home to extinguish the fire, they did locate the body of an adult male on the second floor,” said Blair Adams of the Baltimore City Fire Department.
His friend says the victim was a popular barber who lived on the top floor, while making his living on the bottom one, and his loss will be felt by the entire community.
“He’s been cutting hair for well over 20 years,” said Talley. “He showed different guys around the city how to cut hair, and he was talented. I would come get my hair cut or I would just sit and talk with him, because I was teaching at a school not too far from here, and I just still trying to process it.”
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy on the victim’s body to determine the cause of death, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.