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Several buildings in Baltimore collapse because of heavy winds

Housing: "When there is extreme weather...there is an impact on aged and abandoned housing stock."

The heavy wind gusts that hit the area this weekend led to the collapse of several vacant and abandoned buildings in Baltimore, housing officials said.

"We suspect at this time that wind is a principal cause," said Tania Baker, director of communications for Baltimore Housing. "When there is extreme weather — like the heavy winds that we saw — there is an impact on aged and abandoned housing stock."

The destruction came as winds reached as high as 62 miles per hour in parts of the state Saturday into Sunday causing power outages making bridges dangerous for drivers.

Workers with the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development demolished buildings at 1609 Mosher and 1701 and 1703 N. Fulton. Four other properties — 1623 N Payson, 1526 Druid Hill, 1523 Retreat and 1036 Arlington — were condemned by city building inspectors, but did not require emergency demolition. These properties will be evaluated in the morning.

There were no entrapments or injuries at any of the buildings, the Baltimore Fire Department said.

The collapses come days after retired truck driver Thomas Lemmon, 69, was killed last week when a vacant rowhouse collapsed onto his prized Cadillac near his home in the 900 block of N. Payson St. in West Baltimore.

amcdaniels@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/ankwalker

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