Residents in the Waverly Community Recover After Early Morning Fires
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, June 15, 2022) -Today at approximately 4:30 a.m., Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) and Baltimore Police Department (BPD) responded to two fires in the 300 block of East 31st St. involving multiple homes. Once on scene, firefighters found four houses engulfed in flames with three victims, a 74-year-old male, a 57-year-old male and 30-year-old female. The 30-year-old female was recently released from the hospital, while both males remain in the hospital in serious and critical condition. Firefighters placed the fire under control at 4:56 a.m.
Across the street from the above incident, firefighters were alerted that a pride flag was set on fire. This fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries reported from this fire.
"What happened this morning in the Waverly community was a horrific incident for our neighbors," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "The situation is an ongoing and joint investigation supported by ATF and the FBI. We will release additional information as it becomes available. "I have been on the scene, spoken with residents, and received updates from BCFD and BPD on the investigation status. At this point, we cannot confirm that this was a hate crime. However, my agencies will bring every appropriate resource to bear to get to the bottom of this tragic event. Regardless, I continue to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Field Office are assisting the joint operation between the City of Baltimore, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City Fire Department. The agencies are investigating the origin and cause of the fire involving the multiple homes, conducting interviews and canvassing the area for information and video footage.
"We are hoping for a speedy recovery for the men and women affected by this fire. This was frightening for the residents in this area, and our entire community," said Fire Chief Niles R. Ford. "As this investigation moves forward, we will continue to work with the Baltimore City Police Department, ATF and the FBI to determine who is responsible for setting the fire. I am also extremely proud of the work performed by our members to help bring this fire under control in just under an hour, while preventing the fire from spreading to additional homes."
Mayor Scott, Fire Chief Niles Ford and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison were all on scene this morning to be briefed on the incident and spoke with residents.
"It is completely unacceptable that there are now lives at risk and homes destroyed due to the actions of persons who have no regard for the lives and property of others," said Commissioner Michael S. Harrison. "While we are still working to determine the details and motives for these incidents, I want to say that the BPD, the City and our communities will not tolerate any criminal behavior of any sort, let alone actions that may stem from hatred, bias and other bigoted attacks."
Anyone with information about this incident may contact Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LockUp or ATF at 888-ATF-TIPS or ATFtips@atf.gov.