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'They need to be torn down': Baltimore woman raises concerns about vacant properties after home is damaged in fire

Baltimore woman raises concerns about vacant properties after home is damaged in fire
Posted at 9:23 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 23:56:20-05

BALTIMORE — It was a close call for Kim and her family who were forced to evacuate their West Baltimore home Friday because of a heavy fire next door.

“I was looking at TV and my nephew came up and said the back of the house was on fire,” said Kim, who didn’t want to give her last name.

She’s feeling grateful to have made it out in time.

“I’m just thankful that everybody made it out. The other stuff can be replaced,” she said.

The fire happened in the 1500 block of Argyle Avenue shortly before 5 p.m..

RELATED: No injuries reported in Argyle Avenue fire Friday evening

Baltimore City Fire said when crews arrived flames were showing from multiple floors of a vacant home.

“Due to the intensity and magnitude of the fire, it did quickly spread to three adjacent dwellings, which brings it to a total of four. Two occupied. Two vacant,” said Blair Adams, spokesperson for the Baltimore City Fire Department.

Two families, including Kim’s, are now without a home just weeks before the holiday.

Kim said it will be at least six months until she can move back in.

She said she feared a fire would potentially happen in one of the vacant properties.

“My mom had been calling trying to get them to come and board up the house because those junkies had been going in there and no luck,” she said. "And it just so happened today they set the house on fire.”

Kim said her family will now have to stay in a hotel because of something that could have been avoided.

“Vacant houses need to be torn down,” she said. “They need to be torn down.”

The two vacant properties damaged in the fire also partially collapsed, but no firefighters were injured, officials said.