Baltimore riots: Huge fire lights up sky as seniors' centre erupts in flames

Church community centre was recently completed

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The Independent US

The sky of eastern Baltimore was lit by flames on Monday night after a large building being established as a senior citizens' centre erupted in flames.

There was no immediate confirmation that the building located at Chester and Gay Streets was burning as a result of arson or that it was linked to several other fires set alight by rioters. The Washington Post later said the Baltimore Fire Department had said the fire was not related to the rioting.

Many feared that the burning of the building, reportedly established by the Southern Baptist Church, was evidence that the riots had spread from the initial areas where they played out in the west of the city, at least two miles away.

“It is a seniors’ centre. It is newly built,” Mark Puente, a reporter with the Baltimore Sun, told CNN.

Mr Puente said on social media that parishioners had gathered at the centre, many of them in tears. He said that a bus belonging to the church had also been burned.