Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A tragic house fire killed five family members. Now, fire officials are trying to prevent this from happening again.
Meghan McCorkell was with firefighters Sunday as they conducted a neighborhood sweep.
Balloons, stuffed animals and candles all remain outside the burned-out shell of a home where a grandmother and four young children lost their lives. It’s a tragedy that rocked the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood.
“They were just my little buddies. They was my little buddies,” said neighbor John Hunter, who lives next door.
He used to talk with the kids as they played outside, even teaching the 4-year-old boy how to tie his shoes.
“They used to call me the Candyman because I have a bag of suckers and popsicles in there that I had bought for them,” Hunter said.
Firefighters have not found any working smoke detectors inside the home.
“It certainly grieves your heart. This is the last thing that you ever want to confront,” said Chief Kevin Cartwright.
Sunday, firefighters conducted a citywide sweep, going door-to-door and checking on smoke detectors in all homes.
“They’ll also speak with our residents about how to create home evacuation plans and that everyone in the home needs to be familiar with that, should a fire break out in the early morning hours as this fatal fire did,” Cartwright said.
Firefighters will also be coming out to Moravia Park Elementary School this week– where two of the children attended school– to talk about fire safety.
The neighborhood is on edge. Just last month, two apartment buildings were firebombed in the early hours of the morning. No arrests have been made in those attacks.
The cause of this fire is still under investigation.
Funeral services for the five family members who died will be held Thursday at Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries.
If you don’t have working smoke detectors in your home, call 311 and firefighters will bring you one and install it.