BALTIMORE - Baltimore fire investigators determined a gas explosion sparked the fire at North Lakewood Avenue that ended with 8-year-old Troy Douglas crushed under a pile of smoldering debris.
The fire, investigators determined, originated in the first floor of the two-story structure. Primary investigator Capt. Stephen Gibson noted two potential ignition sources: the heating system or the piloted natural gas-fired water heater.
“Virtually everything, structure and contents were consumed by the ensuing fire,” Gibson notes in his report.
Baltimore City Police also released 911 recordings from that day.
"It's an emergency! A brick building just fell on a kid, the whole wall," one caller said.
"A whole bunch of row houses just blew up. They got babies and everything in there," another said.
Firefighters were dispatched to the 400 block of North Lakewood Ave. on Feb. 19 at about 3 p.m. The flames collapsed about three quarters of the brick exterior wall that crumbled into the street.
Douglas was found about 25 feet away from the building on Jefferson Street. He died from blunt force trauma, according to the results of his autopsy.
His grandmother, Verilyn Douglas, says she rides past the home everyday.
"I go down there every night. I just sit in my car. At nighttime sometimes I just sit in the bed and cry. Why it had to be him," she said.
The fire caused about $70,000 in damage, $20,000 from contents and $50,000 in structural loss.