5-alarm fire burns Woodberry warehouse

Neighborhood streets, JFX closed for hours

  • Fire fighters fought the fire from every side and every angle.
Fire fighters fought the fire from every side and every angle. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina…)
February 22, 2010|By Edward Gunts and Sam Sessa

More than 100 city firefighters and emergency personnel battled a five-alarm fire that broke out Sunday morning in a mostly vacant, three-story brick warehouse in Baltimore's Woodberry area, sending heavy smoke throughout the city.

The Fire Department was called about 6:30 a.m. and the fire was brought under control at 1:20 p.m., according to Chief Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman. No one was thought to be inside the building that houses a handful of small businesses, no one from the surrounding area was evacuated, and there were no injuries reported from the blaze, he said.

Thick, dark smoke blanketed blocks and the smell of smoke was noticeable from miles away. Cartwright said the building was about 100 feet wide and 400 feet long, but he did not immediately know who owns the warehouse. Cartwright said an estimate of the damage should be available today. The cause remains under investigation.

At least four streets in the area were fully or partially closed until early Sunday afternoon, including 41st Street, Union Avenue and the southbound Jones Falls Expressway. The 41st Street bridge over the freeway was used as a platform for firetrucks to spray water onto the building, which sits across the JFX from a large Pepsi bottling facility. The Woodberry light rail station also was shut down.

The fire-damaged warehouse is less than two blocks from the old Union Mill at 1500 Union Ave., which a local development group plans to convert to a $20 million apartment complex. That building was not damaged by the fire.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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