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Overnight arson at abandoned home has neighbors concerned

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BATON ROUGE - The charred remains of an abandoned house on Columbus Dunn Drive is the capitol city's latest arson case.

The flames broke out over night, destroying the vacant wood-frame house. It had been vacant for months.

Linda Bell has been living on this street for seven years.

"When we first came here, every house was filled. Now it's a lot of tall grass and weeds and empty houses," Bell said.

On this one block alone, there are five boarded up houses and several vacant lots. The area is severely overgrown, with trash and debris and even an abandoned vehicle that was recently left there.

With all the vacant and boarded up homes in this one block of Columbus Dunn, residents are concerned that any one of them could be the next target of an arson.

"This neighborhood has become plagued by addicts who squat in these homes for the purpose of having a place to sleep and a place to get high," resident Monick Williams said.

Williams and her husband grew up in this neighborhood. And her family is trying to buy this house that has been vacant for 15 years.

It's next-door to the family home were she grew up and where her sister now stays.

"It's not just an eye sore, it's a danger to my sister, her family and the community," Williams said.

The 1600 block of Columbus Dunn Drive is not what it used to be. But it is still home to residents who care about the area and are concerned about the potential danger.


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