BALTIMORE (WJZ)–As our city tries to move on from Monday’s riots–WJZ revisits North Chester Street where a huge fire caused major damage.

Amy Yensi has the latest.

Days later the smell of smoke fills the air. The burned rubble and debris that represent the height of the violence and destruction–for some, now a symbol of hope.

Broken bricks and metal slabs–the skeletal remains of what would have been a senior housing facility for the Southern Baptist Church.

“I feel the pain just from looking at it,” said one man

“It’s a crisis in your own neighborhood,” said a woman.

The roaring flames a result of Monday night’s chaos across the city.

“It had transformation center, workforce development initiatives life coaching, behavioral counseling, mortgage services for the people. It was set on fire,” said a man.

The church’s pastor, Dr. Dante Hickman, vows to rebuild stronger than ever.

“And not only on that corner but we’re going to rebuild that entire neighborhood,” he said.

The ATF on-scene surveys the damage. The federal agents are investigating the blaze.

Close by troops stand guard at Johns Hopkins, guarding hospital campus around the clock.

Though signs of the unrest linger–some have no doubt the city can recover.

“Somebody said God built the earth in 7 days. This can be done a lot sooner. It’s all about people coming back together,” said Joshua Boyd.

With the lens of the nation focused on Baltimore

“With the racial tension going on everyone needs to be paying attention,” said a woman.

Hopes that turning a blind eye is no longer an option.

Developers estimates the fire has delayed the senior center project at least four months.


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