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Honor fallen firefighters by razing vacant buildings | READER COMMENTARY

The death of the three city firefighters in a blaze in an abandoned building is both needless and horrible (”Baltimore firefighter injured in building collapse released from Shock Trauma,” Jan. 27). Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said that we should remember them in our prayers. Certainly, a proper remark but just as certainly not very clever.

Winston Churchill is reported to have said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Rahm Emanuel when mayor of Chicago said something similar: “Don’t waste a crisis.”

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There are countless abandoned buildings in Baltimore. They are both an eyesore and dangerous. Mayor Scott should have used the deaths of these firefighters as a springboard both to memorialize them and to help Baltimore by declaring their deaths “shall not be in vain” and that the city would “memorialize them or pay tribute to their brave acts by declaring that we will tear down all abandoned building and where practical make parks and where the space is too small, vegetable gardens for the neighborhood.”

Detroit has done this to positive effect. Baltimore should do it as well. The deaths of these brave firemen should galvanize the city to act. It is the right thing to do for Baltimore and is a fitting memorial for the men who died.

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Peter W. Broido, Baltimore

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