A resident of the 100 block of S. Ann St. says that he put out a fire to a vehicle’s gas cap area on Tuesday evening, and the police are investigating an arson.
Michael Prout, 35, who lives on the 100 block of S. Ann St., said that after the vehicle fire on his block, he also put out two small fires on the 200 block of S. Ann St. Those fires, he said, were burning in trash receptacles that residents had put out for the Wednesday morning trash pick-up.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, at around 7:30 p.m., Prout said that his roommate—who wished to remain anonymous—stepped out onto the stoop of their rowhome for a cigarette.
“He pretty much immediately popped back in the door and said, ‘We have a fire over here,’” said Prout.
Prout said that he first called 911, and then grabbed his househould extinguisher and ran across the street toward the fire. Fearing an explosion, as the flames were on and near the vehicle’s gas cap, Prout put himself behind the Toyota 4-Runner that was angle-parked next to the Honda Civic that was on fire.
“When I saw the flames coming out, my first thought was, ‘This thing could blow up,’” said Prout. “I kind of put the 4-Runner between me and the car until I saw that the flames on the gas cap were out.”
Prout said that he then looked to his left and noticed another small fire on S. Ann St., this one across the street on the east side and down near the corner of Gough St.
“It was big enough that I could see it from a block and a half away,” he said.
Prout ran down to put out that fire, which was burning in trash materials that were put out for the Wednesday morning pick-up. As he was running to the second fire, he said that he spotted a resident also running outside with a pot of water toward it.
“I said, ‘I got it,’” said Prout. “He said, ‘thanks,’ and then someone else said, ‘There’s another fire over here.’”
So Prout took his extinguisher to the third fire.
The Fire and Police Departments then arrived, Prout said.
Detective Vernon Davis of the Baltimore Police Department confirmed an “attempted vehicle fire” on S. Ann St., but he said that the department did not have any information about the trash fires. He also said that the fire occurred on Dec. 5, while Prout said that he put out a fire to a vehicle on Dec. 4. The Baltimore Guide is waiting to hear back from Fire Chief Kevin Cartwright for more information.
Davis said that the Police Department’s Arson Unit is interviewing witnesses in the ongoing investigation into the vehicle fire. There are no suspects at this time, he said.