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125 firefighters respond to 3-alarm blaze in Baltimore

More than 100 city firefighters fought a three-alarm blaze at a vacant apartment building in West Baltimore early Wednesday morning.

Crews were called at 12:58 a.m. to a four-story building engulfed in flames in the 1400 block of Division Street in the Upton neighborhood, fire officials said. A total of 41 units and 125 firefighters responded.

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No injuries were reported, but fire officials said ten residents had to be evacuated from nearby homes because of the heavy smoke. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

The building, which has 200 apartments, was being renovated, said Richard Benton, one of the building's owners.

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Benton, who was planning to fly up from Florida to assess the building, said late Wednesday morning that he had not been given any indication of a possible cause of the fire or the extent of the damage.

Benton said he and others bought the building from Hasan "Jay" Jalisi, who was being sworn in Wednesday as a member of the House of Delegates to represent western Baltimore County.

Jalisi said he bought the building through one of his companies, HMJ 1411 Division LLC, and sold the company a couple months later. He said he's been unfairly associated with the building, which has been cited for lead paint violations.

"It's not my company," he said.

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HMJ 1411 Division LLC was formed in 2013 with Jalisi as the resident agent, who is the official legal contact for the company, according to state business records. The company's address and resident agent were changed in 2014, according to state business records.

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