Firefighters Battle Flames at Empty Rowhouse in NW Baltimore

The Baltimore City Fire Department is looking into a second fire in an empty rowhouse. A two-alarm fire broke out on Boarman Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, according to firemen.

WJZ was there as firemen put out the fire and tried to figure out how it started in another empty house. People in the Dorchester neighborhood can hear the sounds of another empty house being torn down.

Jake Kowalski, Vice-President of the Dorchester Community Council, says that he and his neighbors are trying to make this better.

The two-alarm fire happened around 4:30 a.m. Sunday along Boarman Avenue:

We as a neighborhood are actually going around and marking the vacants as we find them, and we also have to work with the council woman’s office to pretty much use the spaces as they become available,” said Kowalski.

Everyone in Baltimore is affected by the problem of empty homes. WJZ has talked a lot about this problem for many years. The problem reached a turning point in October 2023, when firefighters died while putting out fires in empty rowhomes.

Kowalski told WJZ that he and many of his neighbors think they can make things better by asking people to give empty homes new life or change the uses of land where they used to be.

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“We’ve had numerous community gardens spring up, we’ve had movie nights where we use the open space to show movies,” stated Kowalski.

He says that their street has other empty homes, but they want to get new and present homeowners involved in making their neighborhoods better.

What I hope happens next is a focus on the homesteading action again, just focusing on that and for the programs that we currently have.”

Kanwalski said, “Getting out and actually talking to the leaders of the community so that even those that aren’t technologically savvy, are aware of the programs that exist.”

We really are trying our best to, to grow it as a community and really put our best foot forward for the city.” The fire’s cause is still being looked into.

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