Nick Mosby introduces bills to tackle Baltimore’s vacant home problem – CBS Baltimore


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City Council Speaker Nick Mosby introduced three new bills to address the problems posed by the thousands of vacant properties in Baltimore.

The three bills relate to emergency response fees, registration fees and penalties, and complaint fines.

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The first bill is suitable for emergency response costs. It requires vacant landlords to pay for emergency response services provided by the Baltimore City Fire Department, according to a shortlist provided by Mosby.

The bill allows the fire department to recover costs associated with fire investigations, hazmat incidents, water incidents and other incidents involving firefighters.

The second bill strengthens the city’s vacant housing registration process by encouraging vacant property owners to address outstanding code violations and work to unlist their property as vacant, according to the shortlist. .

The third bill encourages owners of vacant property to address complaints about their property by establishing a fee structure for repeated and substantiated 311 service requests, according to the shortlist.

“We understand and know that vacant properties pose a serious threat to the public health and safety of residents,” Mosby said in a statement. “Addressing vacant properties in this city we love will require a multi-layered approach, starting with holding vacant owners accountable.”

City officials have focused their attention on Baltimore’s vast collection of vacant homes– who number more than 14,000 – following a fire that killed three firefighters.

Lt Paul Butrim, Lt Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo died after part of a vacant house in the 200 block of South Stricker Street collapsed on top of them in January.

Nick Mosby introduces bills to tackle Baltimore's vacant home problem - CBS BaltimoreA fourth firefighter, John McMaster, was injured when part of the vacant house collapsed on firefighters. McMaster was treated for his injuries and released from Shock Trauma.

This house that stole their lives had been vacant since 2010.

The fire that killed the three firefighters was just one in a long line of fires in vacant buildings. But the fires are not the only problem.

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Firefighters encountered dangerous conditions while battling the fires that have eaten away at these vacant buildings.

They also encountered strange situations in the performance of their duties.

For example, on March 14, firefighters had to work with police to subdue a man they pulled out of a vacant house with smoke billowing.

They were dispatched to the 1100 block of N. Carrollton Avenue at 12:08 a.m., according to a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesperson.

Once there, they found a squatter and a burning barrel with flames that damaged 1105 N. Carrollton Avenue, the spokesperson said.

Nick Mosby introduces bills to tackle Baltimore's vacant home problem - CBS BaltimoreFirefighters removed the squatter from the house, and soon after he had a verbal argument with local residents that escalated into a fight.

Then, on March 18, police and firefighters worked together to remove human remains from a vacant home in the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The human remains were taken to the medical examiner’s office to be identified and cause of death determined.

Nick Mosby introduces bills to tackle Baltimore's vacant home problem - CBS Baltimore

A few days later, on March 20, they were asked to fight a creeping fire that damaged three vacant homes.

Baltimore IAFF Fire Department Local 734 said on its social media account that firefighters battled the large blaze in the 500 block of Presstman Street.

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Union officials later confirmed that the same three houses were also burned down in February.

Nick Mosby introduces bills to tackle Baltimore's vacant home problem - CBS Baltimore


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