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Baltimore Fire Injures 3 After Pride Decorations Set Ablaze

Baltimore fire investigation

Two people are in critical condition, one serious.

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Fires that started when Pride decorations were set aflame have sent three people to the hospital in Baltimore, and two are in critical condition.

The fires damaged four homes on East 31st Street in the city's Abell neighborhood, Baltimore TV station WJZ reports.

There were two separate incidents, Baltimore Fire Department officials said. One started when a Pride flag at one home was set on fire, and then someone set fire to a house down the street that was decorated for Pride.

At the latter house, three people were injured and taken to a hospital. A 30-year-old woman and 57-year-old man are listed in critical condition, and a 74-year-old man is in serious condition, Fire Chief Niles Ford told reporters, praising the firefighters' quick response.

Of the four homes affected by the fires, two sustained serious harm, with one "almost completely charred," WJZ reports.

Police are investigating the fires as a case of "malicious burning" and have not determined a motive, according to the station. There were initial reports that police were investigating the matter as a hate crime, but Police Commissioner Michael Harrison urged the media to hold off on any such assumptions.

"This is an ongoing investigation to determine facts, to determine the cause, and right now we're not prepared or equipped to determine cause or the facts of how it started," he said at a news briefing.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting the local police and firefighters in the investigation. Mayor Brandon Scott called on residents of the area to share any information, such as security video, that might help in the probe.

"We're going to allow [investigators] time to do their work, as they always do in these instances, to make sure that we figure out what actually happened here so that we can move and accountability fashion at the best way possible," Scott said.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.