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Abell group trivia night to benefit The Book Thing, damaged in fire

A trivia night hosted by Abell Improvement Association will help the Book Thing, damaged by fire this week.

The Abell Improvement Association is challenging Baltimore residents to a Thursday night battle of intellect for a neighbor in need. The group will host its first trivia game night of the year at the Peabody Heights Brewery at 7 p.m. March 10 to raise funds for the book exchange warehouse The Book Thing, which burned in a fire early Wednesday.

Association President Jo Ann Robinson said players would not be charged to compete. Instead, the group is recommending donations, and will host a raffle and bake sale as a part of the fundraiser. You can find more information about the fundraiser here.  

"In the spirit of The Book Thing, if you can't pay, that's OK too. Just help us get this thing back up and running," Robinson said.

The association was already planning to host a trivia night,  "but since the fire just happened and we have that night set at the brewery already, it was kind of a no-brainer," Robinson said.

Fire department crews responded to a call about the fire at The Book Thing at around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesperson. The fire was declared under control around 45 minutes later, but the cause, as of Wednesday afternoon, was still unknown.

The founder, Russell Wattenberg, said police said the fire began in a corner inside of the shop, but there was no evidence of forced entry, arson or an electrical cause.

The warehouse, which has been in the community for more than a decade, will need significant repairs, and hundreds of books have been demolished. Wattenberg said he will open The Book Thing this weekend, taking out books in good condition for people to choose from.

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