Baltimore is burning

Multiple fires ravaged Baltimore on Monday amid riots and looting, but perhaps the most devastating one ignited a $US16 million senior center under construction in East Baltimore.

As the fire burned, dozens of people cried as they saw the destruction of the senior center, which was being built by the Southern Baptist Church, Baltimore Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger tweeted. By 10:30 p.m., a CNN reporter on the ground said the center was completely destroyed.

“I think the reason they burned it is the reason we needed it,” the pastor of Southern Baptist Church, Donte Hickman, told CNN, explaining that the center was to contain low-income housing units for seniors. “We wanted to affect change in the human community.”

The senior center burned after a day of looting following the funeral of Freddie Grey, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.

The senior center was set to be completed in December. Here’s an image from the blaze captured on video that Wenger posted:

Baltimore FireScreenshot/Baltimore Sun videoThe fire on Monday night.

Fires still burned into the evening.

Baltimore FireREUTERS/Jim BourgBaltimore firefighters rush ladders into position to fight fires in mutliple burning buildings set ablaze by rioters in Baltimore, Maryland April 27, 2015.

A CVS pharmacy was also set ablaze on Monday afternoon, as were a number of vehicles:

CVSREUTERS/Sait Serkan GurbuzFirefigthers respond to a fire at a CVS pharmacy on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore April 27, 2015.
RTX1AJM0Shannon Stapleton/ReutersPeople with goods looted from a store walk near burning vehicles during clashes in Baltimore, Maryland April 27, 2015.

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