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May 22, 2024  |  
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Brad Matthews


NextImg:Live wire and gas leak cause explosion underneath a Baltimore rowhouse

The basement of a rowhouse in South Baltimore exploded Saturday morning due to the combustive combination of a live wire and leaking natural gas.

The explosion went off around 9 a.m. under a rowhouse in the 1500 block of Ridgely Street, immediately causing a fire in the basement. 

Responding firefighters from the Baltimore Fire Department saw the fire coming from the sidewalk near the rowhouse, but were able to keep it contained to the basement. Firefighters also spotted an electrical wire hanging close to the ground.

The preliminary theory as to the cause of the blast is that the charged line contacted the leaking natural gas, sparking the fire and with it the explosion, BFD spokesperson Kevin Cartwright told the Baltimore Sun. 

Investigation into the incident and what ultimately caused the explosion is ongoing.

No injuries have been reported, but a city inspector was dispatched to the scene due to worries about the structural integrity of the rowhouse. Baltimore Gas and Electric crews were also sent to the scene.

“BGE is aware of the event near 1500 Ridgely Street. BGE crews are on scene investigating,” BGE told WMAR-TV.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.