Yuma firefighters responded to a possible arson fire at a vacant home Friday morning in the area of Engler Avenue and 25th St.
Spokesman Mike Erfert, of the Yuma Fire Department, said there are several reasons to believe the fire may have been intentionally set.
“There are some suspicious circumstances to the fire,” Erfert said.
Erfert said firefighters were dispatched to 2253 East 25th Street at about 8:30 a.m. and upon their arrival they found smoke and flames coming from a house. Firefighters made entry and quickly extinguished the fire, which had spread into the attic areas.
Investigators from the fire department are currently working to determine the origin and cause of the fire. They are being assisted by the Yuma Police Department.
Yuma police officers were at the scene throughout the morning knocking on doors and talking with people in the neighborhood. Sgt. Leanne Worthen, of the Yuma Police Department, said while no determination as to the cause has been made yet, it is being considered “suspicious in nature.”
Erfert said the “suspicious circumstances” include the fact that the house had been empty – although he did hot know for how long – and boarded up, with no utility service. Witnesses in the area also reported seeing people on the property less than an hour prior to the fire being discovered.
Erfert also urges the community to be aware of people hanging around vacant buildings, or acting like they are trying to hide from view, or in business areas after hours and especially late at night.
“You can help your police and fire departments, and help protect your homes and families, when you report suspicious circumstances and persons,” Erfert said.
Reporting this type of suspicious activity, Erfert added, can prevent crimes and even save lives.
Anyone with any information about this fire is being asked to please contact the Yuma Police Department at 373-4700, or Yuma Fire Department investigator, Kayla Holiman at 373-4850.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.