Vacant home demolished after third fire threatens neighborhood
Local firefighters say vacant house fires are a growing problem. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Clark County Firefighters say vacant house fires are a growing problem, including one that burned three separate times over a three-month period.
After Action News tracked down the owner, the house was demolished.
The story goes beyond one house. Neighbors were concerned a fourth fire could be disastrous for them.
"Had the fire broken through the roof of the thing, it would've flared and my building is less than 20 feet," said neighbor Stephen Castle. "They're both older buildings with dry lumber and stuff."
The most recent fire was on February 8. Since then, the home off East Lake Mead has been demolished.
On our visit to the site last month, Action News was able to track down the owner, Don Hafen, who promised to tear down the home. We're told he did so in about a month.
It's unclear what started the most recent fire, but firefighters said homeless people may have been staying inside.
This isn't an isolated incident. Clark County firefighters say the number of vacant house fires has increased between 2010 and 2012, and fire crews believe homeless people share some of the blame.
"To stay warm, they're starting fires in little corners of the house and sometimes those fires grow," said Erik Newman, Deputy Fire Chief.
The owner of the home is considering installing a fence around the property.