Two-alarm blaze near Mayfair Theatre halts light rail

  • Working fire adjacent to the Mayfair Theatre
Working fire adjacent to the Mayfair Theatre (Jerry Jackson, Baltimore…)
September 24, 2014|By Justin Fenton | The Baltimore Sun

A two-alarm blaze at an adjacent building caused damage to the historic Mayfair Theatre in downtown Baltimore and shut down light rail operations Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at about 12:20 p.m. in the rear of a vacant building in the 300 block of W. Franklin St., and fire department spokesman Ian Brennan said that the neighboring theater suffered external damage.

"The extent of the internal damage is not known as far as the Mayfair building itself," Brennan said.

Light rail operations were stopped for the fire, and the response also closed Park Avenue to Eutaw Street and Howard from Mulberry to Centre streets. Brennan said firefighters' response was complicated by the light rail's overhead wires, and the fact that the vacant buildings were inaccessible due to previously collapsing.

The fire was brought under control at 1:23 p.m.

The Mayfair stopped showing movies in the late 1980s, and has sat vacant since then. It is owned by the city.

Michael Evitts, a spokesman for the Downtown Partnership, said that contractors hired by the partnership were working to remove the theater's marquee at the time of the fire in the next building.

"We do a lot of façade stabilization on buildings, particularly on the west side," Evitts said. The marquee had "deteriorated to the point that it was unsafe," he said.

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