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:
Fires still burned into the evening.
A CVS pharmacy was also set ablaze on Monday afternoon, as were a number of vehicles:
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