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Fires

Fire in Baltimore engulfs senior housing, community center under construction

In East Baltimore on Monday night, a community center and senior housing complex still under construction went up in flames, and authorities say they do not know if it is linked to the rioting across the city.

A spokesman for the mayor's office told WBAL-TV that the fire destroyed the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, which is run by a community-based organization that supports youth and families. Firefighters arrived at the three-alarm fire at 8:49 p.m., and the flames were visible from blocks away. About 60 members of the Southern Baptist Church located across the street watched as the fire engulfed the structures, many sobbing and asking aloud how this could happen.

The project consisted of the community center and about 60 affordable housing units for senior citizens, and has been in development since 2006, The Baltimore Sun reports. The center was to be used for events, educational programs, and employment training.