‘They abandoned me:’ Pigtown man’s condemned house ransacked after explosion, police presence questioned

BALTIMORE — The man who lived in a now-condemned Pigtown home after an year explosion this week spent time talking with police Thanksgiving morning.

He says expensive electronics and tools were burglarized from his home after the blast.

Jacob Booher was on his way to Boston for Thanksgiving when he got a notification on his phone from his home security system that made him turn around.

He saw firemen in his home and he knew something was wrong.

Officials responded Tuesday to the explosion in the South Baltimore neighborhood. A woman and a teenager who were in the home were injured in the blast, but rescued by a 70-year-old Marine veteran who remains in critical condition.

Many people in the neighborhood heard a “boom” when the explosion happened.

“It sounded like somebody took a hand grenade and threw it and it went boom,” one neighborhood resident told WJZ.

Booher returned to his home Thursday to collect more of his belongings—things that he could not get out of his home on Tuesday.

But he says what he found was things missing from his home, after being told that Baltimore City Police were going to watch over his property. Now, he’s devastated.

“Someone went through my house and stole a lot of stuff,” he said.

Booher says a few televisions, a PlayStation and big, heavy tools were stolen.

“A chop saw, a router table,” he said. “It was a procession of people to get those things out of here. It wasn’t one guy real quick.”

Baltimore Police and forensics teams were at the home Thursday. WJZ reached out to the police to ask about a possible investigation, but we did not immediately hear back.

“I am beside myself right now because the city was supposed to get this boarded up and they abandoned me,” Booher said.

Jacob says he doesn’t feel protected. So he is taking matters into his own hands.

“I’m going now, before I go to Thanksgiving dinner, to cut boards and come back with hardware to board up the house,” he said. “I’ll feel safe then.”

The one bright spot Thursday for Jacob and his girlfriend was their cat Banshee – who had been missing since they evacuated the house on Tuesday – has been found.

Booher told WJZ she was in the basement and they found her today when they were clearing out more of their belongings.

People who live in the area told WJZ construction crews have been working on gas lines for about a month. They said they smelled gas leading up to the explosion.

BGE, and its private contractors, confirmed they had been working on fixing and upgrading a gas main in the same area as the explosion.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation

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