Fire at abandoned Fall River home believed to be intentionally s - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Fire at abandoned Fall River home believed to be intentionally set

Fire at abandoned Fall River home believed to be intentionally set

Posted: Updated:
By: Melissa Randall
mrandall@abc6.com

An investigation is underway after a fire broke out at an abandoned home in Fall River late Tuesday night. Officials tell ABC6 News that the fire was intentionally set.

The fire broke out around 10 PM in a two story house. Winds helped to fuel the flames. The home had been boarded up and the utilities had been shut off. Crews say this was the third time that the property went up in flames in as many months. It was also the second fire in the neighborhood in 24 hours.

“I can't say if it's somebody that's taking up residence in the building and possibly accidentally set it or if it’s just somebody who is here for [vandalism] or what ever– I can't really say why but again it's the 3rd time in the same building,” said one fire investigator.

Neighbors say they have long been calling for the property at 1945 Bay St. to be bulldozed. They commend the firefighters for their hard work and say the fire is a good example of why many residents are upset over recent staffing cuts to the department.

Last week nearly 30 firefighters were laid off when the federal grant used to pay their salaries ran out. A fire official said the extra work load due to the lesser amount of manpower is already taking a toll of members.

“At one point in time [Tuesday night]  there was a severe car accident and we had another engine shut down bringing people to Providence– so at one time in the city we had one engine left,” he said.

“Right now these firemen are putting their lives in danger to help take care of us and we're not helping them we're just laying them off,” said supporter Tammy Rivest of Fall River.

In the case of the Bay St. fire officials have not yet determined if it is an arson case. They are looking into whether someone had taken up residence in the building.  

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