BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of a fatal fire in East Baltimore.

Adam May reports residents of a multi-unit building describe fleeing for their lives.

The cleanup has already started. This fire may have left a mess, but it also left a huge hole in the hearts of those who knew the victim.

Swarms of firefighters converged in the 1700-block of North Broadway. The grief was all too much for one woman who collapsed sobbing on the ground.

“The flames started jumping out the third floor window,” said neighbor Troy Mable.

Neighbors watched as chaos erupted just around 5:30 a.m.–fire inside a three-story rowhome, one family living on each floor.

Everyone on the first and second floor made it out safely, but when firefighters received reports that someone was still trapped on the third floor, they went in.

“They ascended to the second floor and began attacking the fire to suppress it,” said Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore City Fire Department. “Within moments, other firefighters were able to locate an adult victim expired on the third floor.”

The identity of that victim has not been released yet.

“It was real sad, man, real sad. I cried, I cried a lot,” said Mable.

“We didn’t have time to grab anything. It was frightening. It was a fire. You just get out of the house,” said Cheryl Pratt, displaced neighbor.

Horrified neighbors watched as it took 35 minutes to get the blaze under control. Now several families are out of their homes.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do but I just thank God that we all made it out alive. It could have been worse. All this stuff right here, it’s material. All that can be replaced. You can’t replace a human life,” Pratt said.

“And my heart goes out to the family of the young man who died,” she continued.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how the fire started. They’re also looking into whether there were any working smoke detectors inside the building.

One firefighter suffered a minor burn while working to put out the flames.


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