YAKIMA, WA - An old abandoned house is likely a total loss after an early morning fire. It started around 6:00 Thursday morning near 6th Avenue and W I Street and it took crews about 30 minutes to get it under control.
The one and a half story home was built in the 1920's and had bars over the window. Firefighters say there was evidence the door had been forced open by squatters or homeless to get inside.
First responders say the fire started on the second floor and was burning on the first. "A fire like this when it burns through the floor, creates a major concern for firefighters. It can become a fall hazard or even a floor collapse when our guys are working to put a fire out," says Jeff Pfaff, the YFD Captain and PIO.
Crews went inside and searched the building because neighbors reported seeing people coming and going but they didn't find anyone inside. Investigators say the homeless had been living on the second floor and had a warming fire on the floor.
Because of how old the home is, it's likely a total loss.
Officials also blocked off 6th avenue so the 20 firefighters at the scene could work.
There is evidence that squatters/ homeless had gained access to the abandoned home. " They were living on the 2nd floor and had a warming fire on the floor." said Jeff Pfaff, YFD Captain and PIO.
The cause of this fire is due to squatters / homeless building a fire on the floor to keep warm.