Vacant warehouse catches fire in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - More than 50 firefighters were out extinguishing a fire at an old Pemco vacant warehouse in southeast Baltimore on Tuesday.

The haze was as suffocating as blinding as it was suffocating.

The smell of burnt plastic forced those on Eastern Avenue to cover up and look on at the damage.

“Not what I was planning. I have the day off from work so I was like, I figure I’ll stick around and talk to some people” Michael Coviello, a witness, said.

He was on his way to the post office when he saw smoke coming from one of the old Pemco buildings.

“I was on my way home and I saw the thick smoke coming out and right as I was pulling up is when firefighters and the police were just getting there and they re-routed us around to stay away from there,” Coviello said.

Smoke could be seen for miles.

Onlookers say the old warehouse was a place where the homeless would use to stay out of the cold.

Johns Hopkins Bayview called ABC2 and wanted to say that if anyone is leaving or going to the hospital they should use the Lombard Street entrance. The other entrances are blocked because of the fire.

As water cascaded onto the building, that’s said to turn into a new, mixed-use space, firefighters dealt with the flames for hours.

“Upon arrival units had heavy fire and smoke coming from the second [floor] and through the roof of a two-story vacant warehouse. Right now, units are performing exterior operations on the unit only just because no one was injured,” Blair Skinner, a spokeswoman with the Baltimore Fire Department, said.

ABC2 News reached out to the architecture firm behind ‘Yard 56’ – the mixed use development slated to replace this property.

We’re still waiting to see how far along in the construction process the company was in terms of this project.

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