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Baltimore police investigate potential arson after 4 homes, Pride flag burn in same area

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(BALTIMORE) — Authorities are investigating potential arsons in Baltimore where, in the same area, four homes and an LGBTQ Pride flag were all on fire Wednesday morning.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s office said in a news release that the pre-dawn incidents were separate, clarifying early reports that they were linked. A Baltimore Police spokesperson initially told ABC News that “officers were informed that the Pride flag was set on fire at the location.”

The mayor’s office said later Wednesday that firefighters found the house fires and the Pride flag fire separately — across the street from each other.

Three people were injured: a 74-year-old man, a 57-year-old man and 30-year-old woman. As of Wednesday afternoon, according to the mayor’s statement, the woman had been released from the hospital while the two men remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Officials have not commented on any potential suspects or potential motive.

“At this point, we cannot confirm that this was a hate crime,” Scott said in his statement Wednesday afternoon. “However, my agencies will bring every appropriate resource to bear to get to the bottom of this tragic event. Regardless, I continue to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community.”

Scott also announced a joint investigation by the fire and police departments along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.

Residents of the area told ABC News affiliate WMAR that they believed one of the homes may have been targeted because of a Pride banner on its porch.

The fires come during the middle of Pride Month.

ABC News’ Davone Morales, Leonardo Mayorga, and Lauren Minore contributed to this report.

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