Disasters Waiting to Happen

Disasters Waiting to Happen

A deadly fire in an illegally converted warehouse brought new attention to DIY housing spaces. But inspectors have been dealing with the issue for years.

At 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 5, 2016, special investigators from the city of Baltimore’s Fire and Housing departments descended on the Bell Foundry with cameras in hand. Since 2006, the two-story brick building, tattooed with spray-paint murals, had been known to many in the Station North neighborhood as a nonprofit work space, gallery, and performance venue for local artists. But thanks to a tip that came in through the city’s 311 hotline, the fire department now had reason to believe that s

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