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Amount of vacant house fires in 2024 not alarming Baton Rouge fire officials

3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago Tuesday, June 18 2024 Jun 18, 2024 June 18, 2024 5:05 PM June 18, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - What may seem to be an abnormal amount of vacant house fires may just be the standard. Twenty vacant structure fires have popped up in the capital area in the first six months of 2024.

Baton Rouge Fire Department Spokesperson Curt Monte says it is nothing out of the ordinary. 

"When you look at the comparisons from two years ago, last year and this year, the house fires are pretty much in line with what we've seen in the past few years," Monte said.

There have been 17 arson arrests so far in 2024, but not all of those were for vacant house fires. Two happened just this week, investigators have not yet ruled on them. 

One on Sunday on North 36th Street and the second on Tuesday on Anna Street.

"Our investigators work very hard and they're very thorough and do a very good job at getting these cases solved,” Monte said.

The fire department normally sees an uptick in structure fires during the summertime, with more time on people's hands and possible boredom among younger people.  

"We encourage parents or guardians to have activities for their children and teens to be involved in so that way they're not in places they shouldn't be," Monte said. 

If you own a home that you are not living in, officials suggest that you still do the proper maintenance and check on your property often.

"Fire prevention is the key, and the community can help out in many ways especially if you have a structure that is vacant that you own, you want to make sure you keep the grass cut around that. You want to make sure you keep that structure secured so no one's going in that shouldn't be," Monte said. "Taking your part as an owner and taking care of that property can really benefit everyone involved."

If you see something or someone in a home that shouldn't be, let the fire department or police department know so they can prevent these fires from happening.

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