Cape Girardeau fire chief encourages vacant home owners to board up properties

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:11 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:39 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Fire Department fought two more vacant house fires over this past weekend and encourage owners to do their part in helping reduce possible vacant house fires.

The two house fires are part of an uptick trend of vacant house fires this year.

Something that could be avoided if more care was taken to the property.

Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Randy Morris encourages more home owners to board up their vacant properties, as it could help minimize the fires.

“One, it keeps people from entering the property that are trespassing, and two, it kind of gives us an indication that you are making efforts to make sure the property is somewhat maintained,” said Morris.

With vacant homes, some may become run down and dilapidated, which could cause possible injuries to people that enter the home, especially during a fire.

“In some instances, they aren’t maintained properly and the last thing we want is to send our firefighters to a house fire to put out a fire and find that there could be a dilapidated floor that they could fall through,” said Morris.

The fire department is looking to take a different approach to vacant house fires.

One where they would focus more defensively once they are aware the house is condemned.

The fire department also said vacant homes have the potential for illegal activity, such as trespassing and drug use, which can pose a threat in neighborhoods.

The two fires this weekend remain under investigation.

Fire crews are working with police as they feel the fires are considered suspicious.

The community is also being asked to report any suspicious activity to police.

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