WASHINGTON -- Rep. Elijah Cummings' Baltimore home caught fire Tuesday morning, according to local news reports. Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Benghazi committees, became a leading voice among Baltimore elected officials trying to calm the riots that hit the city in April.
No one was in the row house at the time of the fire and there were no injuries, the Baltimore Sun reported. Cummings is married and has three grown children. He lives in the home, located in the 2000 block of Madison Avenue, and commutes daily to Washington for congressional work.
Firefighters were called to the house at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday when smoke became visible coming from the roof, Baltimore news station WBAL reported. Baltimore firefighters were able to extinguish the flames in about 15 minutes, the station reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to the Sun.
Cummings has always spoken passionately about his home, opting not to leave a neighborhood that has seen years of economic problems coupled with high crime rates. When riots broke out in Baltimore in April after the death of an African-American man while in police custody, Cummings was on the front lines trying to calm the crowds. While criticism among protesters grew toward the mayor and other city officials, Cummings worked to remain a voice in the community.
Cummings was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. He is among several names who have floated as potential candidates for the Maryland Senate race. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s retirement has set off a fierce Democratic primary, which has already attracted Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards. Cummings has not yet said whether he will make a run for the Senate seat, although he hasn’t ruled it out.