A spectacular fire visible for miles ravaged a vacant 19th-century warehouse on the Fells Point waterfront last night.
The two-alarm blaze destroyed the roof and swept through much of the top floor of the three-story Chase's Wharf building in the 1500 block of Thames St.
Fire officials said that a wall on the harbor side of the small, brick warehouse could collapse.
The fire was reported about 7:30 p.m. and declared under control about 8:15 p.m.
Capt. John Griffith, a city fire investigator, said the cause was not immediately known. Several homeless people were seen around the building, Captain Griffith said, speculating that the blaze could have been the aftermath of an attempt to keep warm by starting a fire.
No injuries were reported. Captain Griffith said firefighters would be searching the building in case anyone was trapped.
One Bond Street resident said that the flames -- visible from downtown buildings and across the harbor -- stopped minutes after they began.
"I saw the roof go up, and then it was out," said Roy Andersch, who watched the fire -- fought with 25 firetrucks -- from his home.
A vice president of Constellation Real Estate of Columbia, owners of the property, said that the building was due for renovation.