Massive fire destroys building in East Baltimore

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A massive fire broke out in Baltimore. (WPVI)

A massive fire has broken out in a building that was under construction and the Baltimore mayor's spokesman says it's related to the riots.

Spokesman Kevin Harris confirmed that the fire is related to the riots and that it burned the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, described online as a community-based organization that supports youth and families.

Firefighters were spraying water on neighboring commercial and residential buildings around what's left of the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, which continued to smolder after being engulfed by flames earlier.

They sought to assure that no flames spread, given the number of abandoned rowhouses nearby. Kevin Johnson, a 53-year-old resident of the area, says the building was to have been earmarked for the elderly.

"They built it from the ground up. For elderly people, for old people," Johnson said. "Now it's burned down, man. That don't make no sense. It's burned down."

A CVS pharmacy was also set on fire earlier in the day. Businesses have been looted and at least 15 officers were injured in the chaos.

The riots started after the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious injury after being arrested.
WMAR says the unfinished five-story building was to be the future home of senior housing.

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