On October 19th, 2023, a large rowhome fire broke out in the 5200 block of Linden Heights Avenue in northwest Baltimore. According to multiple news reports, one firefighter died while battling the intense blaze, which engulfed multiple rowhomes. Four additional firefighters were injured and transported to local hospitals.
The fire spread rapidly due to the row home-style construction, where the homes are built side-by-side with shared walls and attics. This allows fires to spread between the attached homes easily. The WBAL-TV article reported that “multiple rowhomes” were caught in the fire, indicating it spread to affect neighboring homes as well.
Reaction and investigation
Baltimore City fire officials called it a “tragic day” and said the firefighter who died was a 20-year veteran. “Baltimore lost a hero,” said the city’s fire chief in the CBS News article.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, the Baltimore Sun reported that it spread very quickly, engulfing multiple homes and making firefighting extremely difficult and dangerous.
Fire departments from surrounding jurisdictions assisted the Baltimore City Fire Department battle the intense blaze. The fire was eventually placed under control but not before one firefighter lost their life carrying out their duties protecting the community from fire.