Fire at vacant home

Yuma firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at a vacant and boarded-up home in the 500 block of South 15th Avenue Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

City of Yuma firefighters quickly put out a fire at a vacant home early Wednesday afternoon, preventing it from spreading throughout the entire structure.

Spokesman Mike Erfert, of the Yuma Fire Department, said that at about 4:45 p.m. a fire was reported in the 500 block of South 15th Avenue, and that when firefighters arrived on scene they found smoke and flames coming from the rear of a vacant and boarded home.

Firefighters searched the home after the fire had been extinguished and found that no one had been inside, but there were indications of past trespassing.

Also, fire investigators found that the fire originated at the rear of the building, possibly outside the back door, and are working to determine the cause.

"The fire is suspicious in nature," Erfert said.

The suspicious nature of the fire, Erfert said, includes the fact that the house had been empty – although he did hot know for how long – and boarded up, with no utility service.

Erfert 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 arson (or any other) crimes, is asked to contact the police department. Information can also be provided anonymously through the Silent Witness tip line at 78-CRIME (782-7463).

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.

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