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Firefighters Battle Two-Alarm Fire Amid Thunderstorm In Baltimore's Riverside Neighborhood

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Roughly 60 firefighters battled a two-alarm fire in Baltimore's Riverside neighborhood amid a severe thunderstorm on Saturday.

The fire began on the roof of a four-story row home and crawled across it to other homes, union officials said. It was believed to be caused by a lightning strike, fire officials told WJZ.

Neighborhood residents in the area said they heard a large boom during the storm and then saw fire coming from the roof of a house.

No one was injured during the fire. Prior to the flames, the house shook.

"All of a sudden, we heard a big bang and I said to my wife: I think this is close," Jonathan Heiliczer said.

Heiliczer and his wife were eating dinner at the time, unaware that their house was on fire until a neighbor came over to tell them there were flames on their roof.

The fire grew bigger as did the potential threat it posed.

The fire was showing from the rear of the house and a lot of the fire was hiding inside of two houses, Baltimore City Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Goodwin said.

This prompted firefighters to call for additional assistance battling the flames, Goodwin said.

"So that's why we called for the second alarm—with the potential of it extending into four houses," he said.

Ten fire engines, four ladder trucks, a heavy rescue apparatus, three battalion chiefs, and two medic units showed up to the fire, Goodwin said.

Heiliczer said he ran up to his roof to see the flames for himself.

They were "up to my knee, maybe a little higher," he told WJZ.

Although Heiliczer is grateful to be OK, he lamented the fact that he and his wife will not be able to watch the Fourth of July fireworks from the rooftop patio of their home.

"We normally have a pretty good view," he said.

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