Arson Fire Prompts City Officials To Act
Posted: 7:54 pm MST January 11, 2010Updated: 9:42 pm MST January 11, 2010
EL PASO, Texas -- A fire at an abandoned building in Central El Paso on Monday morning has prompted several city departments to tackle a growing problem. More than 40 firefighters responded to the fire on the 1900 block of Magoffin Avenue. As the Kfox Morning News reported, the vacant building eventually collapsed due to the fire. Fire officials said it is not the first time a fire is started there. It happened before in May 2008 where two firefighters were injured. Fires in vacant building pose a great threat to firefighters. "We're going into this building and we're not knowing if it's kept up, the hidden dangerous within the building," said John Concha with the El Paso Fire Department. Concha said fires in abandoned buildings can also be a danger to the public because adjacent structures can also catch fire. That's why, beginning next week, the fire department along with inspectors with the Health Department and Developmental Services Department will be conducting fire, health and life safety inspections at all vacant and abandoned buildings throughout the city. "Owners of these vacant properties are responsible for keeping their property secured and up to code," said Concha. Concha said keeping the building up to code may cost owners some money. "It cost money to bring these buildings up to code but when it comes to firefighter lives and public safety there is no cost," said Concha. Fire officials are asking the public for help in finding the person or persons responsible for setting this fire. Anyone with information can call El Paso Crime Stoppers at 566-8477.
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