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‘We’ve been crying out for a long time’: 1 dead in West Baltimore vacant house fire

Neighbors displaced by vacant house fire want city to address blight issue
Posted at 4:15 PM, May 05, 2022

BALTIMORE — They cried to out to the city leaders in Baltimore for years fearing it would happen then, it did.

Three more vacant homes in the city went up in flames Thursday morning in West Baltimore.

“This is really sad. All of these vacant buildings all of this money that the city have or whatever something needs to be done,” said Ramona Hall.

Owners of one of the three homes destroyed and condemned by the city following the fire say it’s a disaster they saw coming years ago.

“We’ve been crying out for a long time. And the city does nothing so we’re frustrated. It’s tiresome but what do you do now? What do we do?” questioned Kimberly-Davis.

Officials say just before 5 a.m., they arrived and saw heavy flames blaring from a trio of three-story homes an the 2400 block of W. North Avenue.

“Lord Jesus, we gotta pray for these people. Oh my god these people,” said one neighbor we heard clearly in a video on Citizens App.

At first fire fighters reported no injuries in the fire but later they found a body inside.

“From what I saw today that I recorded I saw one body coming out on the third floor and they had the talk ladder and they were taking it out. It’s just sad. It don’t make no sense,” Hall exclaimed.

While fire fighters haven’t identified the victim or gender neighbors like Ramona Hall have their own suspicions about a potential victim.

“He was living here at times you know, pushing a cart and we’d give him or whatever but I believe he stayed in there and I’m hoping that it wasn’t him,” she shared.

“Over the last year we’ve made calls to 311 about the squatter that was living here next door to us,” said Davis.

Burly-Davis and her husband who’d been working to renovate their family home feared this would become their reality and tried to do everything in their power to avoid it.

“[We] never got any response from the city. I ride pass here we come in and out. We’re having work done and this gentleman is still living here. No one has reached out to help or do anything about it and so now here we are,” she said.

“You have people in here sleeping in them. They’re getting high in these buildings and everything I’m grateful that it didn’t spread up there to where I work at because I take care of a 94 year old man. But what I’m saying is something needs to be done,” Hall continued.

For a family hoping to keep their home for future generations, that dream is now ashes.

“We had two daughters they were raised here so it’s my childhood home as well as theirs so it’s a lot of heart tugging here today,” Davis said.

Officials are working to confirm the identity of the victim as well as the official cause of Thursday morning’s fire.