The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Hispanic Tenants Burn to Death

Mar 11, 2024

A fire that broke out in a rented rowhouse in Baltimore’s heavily immigrant and working-class Baltimore Highlands/Highlandtown neighborhood on February 27 killed a thirteen-year-old Guatemalan girl, her eight-year-old brother, and their twenty-two-year-old cousin. Nineteen neighbors were displaced. This fire never should have caused such damage, and it only did because the property had no working smoke detector. Now, community activists are combing the neighborhood and checking for smoke detectors. But the landlord’s lethal negligence is the kind of sloppy profiteering city officials protect again and again.

More than a year ago, a community group complained that 11 of this landlord’s 25 rental properties in this one neighborhood had received a total of 35 citations since 2016. A tenant tried suing the landlord a decade ago. But city government? Radio silence.

Housing for profit is what’s lethal.