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Tempers flare after fire victims forced out of Lanvale Towers

No plan to move back into East Baltimore complex
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Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 07:16:10-04
Some have described the Lanvale Towers as a low-income building with services to match.
 
"They should have been closed down,” said Shirley Rubuyi, whose mother has lived in the complex in East Baltimore for 17 years. “They don't want to fix nothing. They got a lot of drugs in here and people drink. Last week, they had somebody bust out the window and somebody shot somebody."
 
But now that fire damage and a subsequent power outage have forced more than 150 people from their apartments, tempers have flared even more.
 
"They didn't give us nothing,” said Veronica Berry. “I don't know really. Right now I'm staying with a friend down the street."
 
It's been two days since the flames forced residents from their apartments.
 
"So we looked out the window and saw the fire on top of our heads and saw it was a real one, so we had to get up out of there," recounted Melissa Chase who lives on the 8th floor.
 
 
Many returned on this day to retrieve up to four bags or a hundred pounds of belongings from their units, which have been temporarily condemned.
 
The American Red Cross has set up a nearby shelter, but many of the victims aren't satisfied.
 
"They sent us to shelters,” said Chase’s daughter, Pamela Slater. “Told us to get a cot on the floor. We've been in the building for too long to get a cot on the floor. I feel like this was an inside job. We're not getting no help."
 
Members of the Baltimore Trauma Response Team have come in to help residents and to bridge the divide between those who've been forced out and the city and the building's private owners, but they, too, have been short on answers.
 
"I can't say what City Hall and the mayor should do, but if they care, then I'm sure they'll be coming to accommodate these people," said Rev. Dr. Andre Humphrey.
 
City leaders are working on more viable solutions than the temporary shelter, and have pledged to come up with a plan by tomorrow.