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Fountain Square neighbors concerned with numerous fires

Fires have occured in abandoned houses
Posted at 10:29 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 23:19:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Neighbors in Indy's Fountain Square neighborhood are concerned about the number of recent fires.

"Our neighborhood has a fair number of abandoned homes," Sarah Owens said. "Some of them in a state of disarray. Some have a little bit of work done and some have none."

Owens lives a block away from a house near Prospect and St. Peter streets. She says the home being empty isn't the problem, it's the random people who have often been seen coming in and out of the house.

In addition to the unwelcomed guests, multiple fires have popped up in the last few months, including three in the last seven days in two houses in the same block.

"The night that this house was on fire we could see the flames shooting several feet up in the air, it was very windy," Owens said. "So, it's very scary to think that could jump. If you look at the house the next street over where that garage and home burned. The house next to them has the siding melted."

At a minimum, the fires have been an inconvenience, knocking out power and internet service, but Owens knows it just takes one incident to create tragedy. That's why she always assumed that after multiple police and fire runs, the problems would be solved.

But now she's calling on her neighbors to band together and ask the city to knock these houses down as an avenue to a permanent solution that could end the fires, mischief, and concern.

"I think this is something we can approach together because everybody is on the same page," Owens said. "We want our neighborhood to be nice. If it's a homeless issue we want those folks to be taken care of in a different way and then these houses knocked down so kids aren't playing in them where someone could get injured or so that there's not a fire that could damage some other homeowner's property."

In situations like this, it is always best to call the Mayor's Action Center to keep a documented list of issues and concerns even if the police and fire department are responding to the area.

Owens hopes more of her neighbors will keep track of issues in hopes of attracting city attention and action.