BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two victims of a three-alarm fire in northwest Baltimore Sunday night remain hospitalized, as officials continue to investigate the cause.

At least five townhomes in the 2600 block of Virginia Avenue in the Park Heights area were damaged after a large fire broke out shortly before 10:30 p.m.

Two homes collapsed and then the fire continued to spread to other homes, fire officials said Wednesday.

“Although it is yet been confirmed, some residents stated that they heard a loud noise, which they said resembled an explosion,” said city fire chief Niles Ford.

Baltimore Gas & Electric were called to the scene to turn off the gas and electric so that firefighters could investigate. BGE said Monday no gas leaks were detected on their end and there hadn’t been any calls for service in the last 12 months.

“Our firefighters worked tirelessly into the early morning to extinguish the fire, then ensured that additional fires did not flare up,” Ford said.

Nicole Mack, who lives nearby and is friends with one of the victims who is still hospitalized, disputed BGE’s statement.

“(The victim) has been complaining about gas for the last three years,” Mack said. “Last year he called BGE, BGE came, gave him a lockout to lock his stove out and then the management of the company gave him a new stove.”

Another area resident also complained about gas and was given a new stove, Mack said.

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Five people were injured in the fire — a 54-year-old man, a 45-year-old man, a pregnant woman and two boys, ages 3 and 4.

As of Wednesday, the woman, who is five months pregnant, and the two boys were released from the hospital. The two men remain hospitalized in serious condition.

“We are praying for a full recovery for the two victims who remain in the hospital,” Ford added.

The city thanked the American Red Cross for helping the fire victims and those displaced.

Ford also thanks partners who helped them use Edgecombe Circle Elementary School as a donation site and warm place for displaced residents.

Ursula Thomas does community outreach for Uproar Church in Owings Mills. Her church brought donations to help the victims impacted by the fire.

“We can’t even imagine what they’re experiencing right now,” Thomas said. “Just to know the place that you call home, that you’ve created memories, right now is in disaster.

Baltimore City Fire is working to find the cause of the fire.

Rachael Cardin

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