The Burning Question About Amarillo’s Abandoned Buildings Catching Fire
I have to be, due to my line of business. But the bottom line is that I'm nosy.
I look for patterns and things of interest so that I can write about things that interest people here in Amarillo. And sometimes something catches my eye and I get to digging.
This time around, I've noticed that there's been an awful lot of structure fires here in Amarillo in 2022. And more than that, I've noticed that there's been an awful lot of abandoned structure fires that have happened in clusters within a short period of time.
So I started digging through this year's fires and tried to narrow it down to just the abandoned structures.
Here's An Amateur Map
What really got my attention while digging for fires in Amarillo in 2022 was this news story that I managed to overlook. A house on Westlawn and Virginia Streets was ruled arson after being set afire two times in as many weeks.
Then I went through media releases sent to us by the Amarillo Fire Department and found one on November 18th that caught my eye:
AMARILLO - The Amarillo Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 713 N. Mirror early Friday evening. The first unit to arrive found the homeowner waving at the side of the house, who notified them of a small fire in a back garage. Firefighters then located a small rubbish fire and extinguished it with a water pump can. The homeowner stated he witnessed someone leaving through the alley when he arrived. The Amarillo Police Department took a report and the Amarillo Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire
So What Am I Getting At?
Well, it would be foolish of me to make any bold statements or jump to conclusions about some shadowy figure running around setting buildings on fire. For one, have I spoken to an official with the AFD? Nope, and that will be my next step if I go any further on this topic.
But.....why are all these abandoned places going up in flames around town? I mentioned this to a friend of mine in passing (who happens to be a life-long resident) and he immediately told me that if a building was abandoned for long enough, it would be burned to the ground.
But without any facts and data, I'm simply left to wonder. Is it simply a perfect storm of hazardous factors (the cold, "free shelter", and people in need of warmth, etc) or have acts of arson that gone under the radar?
What Do You Think?
It's bad enough that regular people making a living are losing their homes and businesses to wayward flames and space heaters placed in incendiary spots. And it's also a shame that several of these fires in 2022 have been started by transients simply looking to stay warm. But as someone who only moved to Amarillo last year, I'm interested in hearing what long-time residents have noticed about the fires in our area.
Do you have feedback? Observations? Heck, are you with AFD? Please, reach out to me below, I'd like to hear it all--good and bad.