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After Baltimore fire claims six lives, archdiocese grieves and gives

Following a tragic northeast Baltimore house fire in which six children lost their lives, nearby Catholic institutions are joining the effort to aid the stricken Malone family, who have ties to the Catholic Church.

One of the family’s nine children, an 8-year-old girl, was able to pull herself and two of her brothers, ages 4 and 5, out of the early morning fire, which occurred on 12th January. All six of the other children died: two boys, ages nine months and two years; 3-year-old twin girls; and two more girls, ages 10 and 11.

The fire reportedly enveloped all three floors of the home. The third floor collapsed onto the second, which also partially collapsed, and firefighters had to fight the blaze from outside.

The father, William Malone, was at work at the time of the fire. The mother, Katie Malone, and the three surviving children were taken to area hospitals. The 8-year-old has since been released.

“On behalf of the Catholic clergy and laity of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, I offer heartfelt condolences for the family and friends of the lives lost and impacted by the tragic fire in Baltimore today,” said the Archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori. “We ask God’s blessing for his beloved children who we deeply mourn and for his loving embrace of those left behind.”

Fr John Williamson, parish priest of the Ascension in Halethorpe and St Augustine in Elkridge, said he had baptised at least one of the Malone children, the surviving 8-year-old.

Her grandparents, Henry and Sandra Ward, the parents of Katie Malone, are “very active” parishioners and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Ascension, he said.

Fr Williamson said he let parishioners know about the tragedy and requested help at about 5pm on 12th January via the electronic communication platform Flocknote. By 7am on 13th January, $1,000 (£812) in donations had poured in.

Fr Williamson added that poor box contributions from the weekend of 14-15th January from both Ascension and St Augustine would be donated to the Malones.

“That’s the immediate help – we’ll go from there,” he told the Catholic Review, the news outlet of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “The family lost everything, so we’re trying to get them back on their feet.”


Picture: A condolence card for neighbours to sign is attached to a lamp post across from what was the Malone family home in Baltimore. Katie and William Malone lost six of their nine children in the fire. Katie is a member of the Class of 1994 at the Institute of Notre Dame, a Catholic all-girls high school in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Kevin J. Parks, Catholic Review).