SFD suspects 3 of 4 morning fires started by squatters trying to keep warm

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport fire officials had a busy morning on Friday, Feb. 25, fighting four house fires.

Crews were spread out at the different blazes, each of them not far from the other. Firefighters worked to contain the fires, with one suffering minor injuries in the process.

However, SFD officials say at least three of the fires have something in common.

“Anywhere from three to five this morning, there were three of them that we suspect was squatting,” said Assistant Chief Clarence Reese.

Reese says the fires appear to be the result of homeless people in the area occupying the spaces.

“In one of the homes we did find candles burning and none of the homes had utilities to them. So, it’s always suspicious in nature anytime there are no utilities. One of the homes was also boarded up,” he said.

For those who need it, there are several resources available in the community to help those in need of a space to stay as the weather remains cold. One of the places looking to help is the Shreveport Bossier Rescue Mission.

“We’re in inclement weather intakes right now so we’re doing intake 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” said Larry Otwell, executive director of the mission.

Otwell says there are safer alternatives than squatting for those looking for warmth and shelter.

“Especially when it’s raining it gets down in the low 40′s or 30′s and 20′s, for survival purposes people are going to try to do whatever they can to stay warm. We take care of them as far as clothing and hygiene products,” he said.

RELATED: Shreveport firefighters battle 4 early morning blazes; 1 firefighter injured

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