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Residents attempt to return to damaged homes in Curtis Bay after fire

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 09:18:20-04

Families began picking up the pieces of what’s left of their homes after a three-alarm fire Monday in the Curtis Bay neighborhood.

Service contractors began boarding up destroyed rowhomes on Hazel Street. As of Tuesday afternoon, several families weren’t allowed inside the properties after the city deemed their homes condemned.

A charred shell of what was 10 rowhomes is all that’s left.

RELATED: Nearly 2 dozen displaced in Curtis Bay fire

It's a sight Jerry Schostag wasn’t prepared to see. His daughter and son-in-law lived at one of the homes with their four children.

“The most frustrating part is losing everything, stuff that he’ll never replace. It was his life. He grew up here and it used to be a really great neighborhood,” Schostag said, looking at his son assess the damage to his home.

Replacing the memories is Jerry’s family’s toughest task, he says.

The home was paid for.

No one died in the fire, but it did displace 23 people and killed one neighbor’s pet cats.

“We had more than 80 firefighters that responded to Hazel Street and then 40 pieces of apparatus. There was also additional resources called in from Anne Arundel County Fire Department,” Blair Skinner, the spokeswoman for Baltimore’s fire department, said Monday.

It took crews two hours, much of which spent in the heat of a July summer, to extinguish the initial blaze.

Treating the flames sent one firefighter to the hospital. Another person injured her ankle.

“They stayed on it. There was probably about eight fire engines here and they were on it. They weren’t giving up. They’re the heroes,” Schostag said.

A heroic effort, Schostag says, as he and his family search for anything they can salvage. He’s housing his daughter’s family at his home in Glen Burnie.

The American Red Cross is helping other families who were displaced by the fire.

As of now, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.