An abandoned home that has been an eyesore along Decatur Avenue for several years, burned for more than an hour and was all but gutted in Norwood.
According to FDNY spokesman and firefighter Ken Reilly, the fire broke out in the basement of 3132 Decatur Avenue, at just after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, December 27. The fire quickly spread to the first and second floors.
Firefighters were somehow able to protect the Huang Lee Laundromat next door.
Reilly stated, "Our units responded to a 3-story unoccupied multiple dwelling with a working fire in the basement. At its height, the fire was an all-hands," which Reilly stated consisted of 60 members and 12 units.
Members were able to bring the fire under control at 5:18 a.m., Reilly added, "There were no reported injuries and the cause is still under investigation."
Despite having been boarded up for several years, one source stated, "I had heard that people had been going in there, but I haven't seen anyone recently."
The source said of the home today, "It's definitely still there, but you can see it's burned out on the inside."
A second house fire in October severely damaged another home and injured an occupant as well as a firefighter and paramedic. That fire also remains under investigation.
The U.S. Fire Administration, which comes under the umbrella of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a report on January 3, stating that each year there are roughly 23,800 fires in vacant residential building's that on average, cause 75 deaths, 200 injuries and $785 million in lost property.
The report noted, "If people use the vacant building as a home or shelter, the unknown condition of the building and the unknown number of people in the building can put firefighters' lives in danger.”