Jan 09, 2020 9:57 PM

Fire inspector: Recent vacant house fires not connected, various causes suspected

Posted Jan 09, 2020 9:57 PM

by Sarah Thomack

St. Joseph Post

A St. Joseph fire inspector says the reasons for several vacant structure fires within the last month are varied and don't seem to be connected.

Fire Inspector Mindy Andrasevits says people often want to attribute vacant structure fires during the winter to someone who is homeless trying to keep warm.

"That’s typically not the case,” Andrasevits says. “Now they may be squatters or people living in abandoned buildings that shouldn’t be there, but the reasons for the fires are all over the place. As far as the reasons they’re starting fires, it might be to stay warm, it might be vindictive-type fires, there’s all kinds of reasons why they're starting them."

Andrasevits says there's no concern that the fires are connected, but there is concern about the properties where the fires are taking place.

“Owners have vacant buildings and maybe they’re not keeping them secured properly and people are in and out of them that shouldn’t be,” Andrasevits says. “That’s the biggest concern, I think."