Yakima Home Burns Due to Squatter’s ‘Warming Fires’
Fire damaged an abandoned 1920's era building Thursday morning in Yakima.
Neighbors reported seeing people coming and going from the building before the fire.
Yakima fire crews spent several hours beating down a fire that caused damage to the home at 509 West I St.
Just after 6 a.m., flames were reportedly seen coming from the home. Fire officials say the blaze began on the second floor, and it spread to the lower level.
Fire investigators said they found evidence someone started a warming fire on the upper level.
According to Yaktrinews,com, fire officials say that kind of fire usually results in them finding one or more victims, but no one was hurt.
Squatters, or illegal tenants, had apparently been using the home.
Officials say it's not just Yakima, but other communities that have abandoned boarded-up residential homes could suffer the same fate. During cold weather, transients or other people break in and use the homes for shelter.