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Heat Becomes Concern As Crews Work, Residents Displaced From Baltimore Gas Explosion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Temperatures into the 90s and heat index values just under 100 led to dangerous conditions for crews working to clean up after a deadly natural gas explosion rocked northwest Baltimore Monday.

The heat also became a concern Monday for some nearby residents, who had to sit outdoors as temperatures climbed. Power was also turned off in the area as crews investigated the cause of the explosion, leaving those who were allowed to be inside their homes without fans and air conditioning.

A Code Orange Air Quality Alert was also in effect for the Baltimore area on Monday, and experts have said people should be avoiding strenuous activity and outdoor exercise.

The fatal explosion happened around 9:54 a.m. along Labyrinth Road at Reisterstown Road near Brookhill Road.


Without electricity and gas, some residents weren't able to recharge their phones, power medical equipment or heat up food.

WJZ's Paul Gessler reported a woman passed out due to the heat earlier Monday afternoon.

Paramedics also responded to a man who appeared to be having a heat stroke, WJZ' Annie Rose Ramos said at the scene.

Rescue crews cycled in and out to stay cool and hydrated as they tackled the piles of rubble that sit where three homes once stood.

Emergency services crews walked from house to house to explain the next steps to those affected, including boarding up damaged houses in the area.

Paul Carden of the American Red Cross said the organization has established a reception center and is bringing in food and supplies for displaced residents.

They'll also have counselors present.

"Once we find out how many people cannot return to their homes, we'll make arrangements for them to find a safe secure place to stay tonight, most likely a hotel," he said.

Carden said on Tuesday they will work one on one with the families whose homes have been destroyed, who have injured family members, who have lost a loved one.

Their services will include mental health, spiritual health, and health services. They'll also have volunteers providing financial assistance information and referrals.

There were also two cooling buses set up at the Reisterstown Road Plaza for people to get a reprieve from the heat.

WJZ reporters Paul Gessler, Annie Rose Ramos, Ava-joye Burnett, Kelsey Kushner and Rachel Menitoff contributed to this report.

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