South Bend has seen increase in structure fires this year
South Bend has seen a rise in structure fires so far this year, many of them in houses that are vacant.
There were 58 fires from January through May, compared to 42 during that time period last year. That’s a 38% increase.
Investigators say about 10 of the fires seem suspicious in origin, and about nine of those were in vacant houses. On Friday Buchanon urged people to call police or the fire department if they see anyone trespassing or squatting in vacant homes.
“If the public sees something that seems unusual around some of the houses or structures in their particular residential neighborhoods, please call the authorities or take down some notes,” Buchanon said.
With Memorial Day coming up next weekend, Buchanon asked people to be careful when grilling out or having bonfires. Early forecasts are calling for heat and wind.
“We are pleading with the public to do it as safely as possible. Make sure that your grills or barbeque pits are not close to any residential structures, or storage sheds, or garages.”