Why We Search

Examples that refute the fear-based belief that no one is inside or worth saving



Tavares, FL Squatter suspected in starting church fire.

Spokane, WA Neighbor spots squatter sleeping in fire-damaged house.

St. Louis, MO Vacant building fires up significantly.

St. George, UT Front-end loader used on abandoned building fire.

Seattle, WA City cracks down on chronic squatter houses.

Bronx, NY Man injured in abandoned house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Squatter suspected of starting house fire.

Passaic, NJ Fire in abandoned house known for squatters.

Rockford, IL Number of vacant house fires double.

Seattle, WA Fire at abandoned building known for squatters, transients.

Aurora, WA Evidence of squatters, transients at house fire.

Escondido, CA Homeless man inside abandoned meat market

Muncie, IN Homeless man dies in abandoned house fire.

Taunton, MA Man injured in abandoned house fire.

Los Angeles, CA Five dead in vacant building fire.

Las Vegas, NV Squatter return to house hours after fire.

Fresno, CA Squatters suspected in starting two-alarm fire.

Tampa, FL Demolition ordered for site of abandoned house fire.

Fairborn, OH City demolishes site of city-owned abandoned house fire.

Memphis, TN Neighbors report vagrants at abandoned townhouse fire.

Grand Junction, CO Man injured in abandoned house fire.

Shelton, WA Fire causes collapse of abandoned known for transients.

Idaho Falls, ID Children laying with lighter cause abandoned building fire.

Everett, WA Squatters escape house fire.

New Orleans, LA Owner blames squatters for fire.

West Warwick, RI  Vacant mill fire site to be demolished.

Fort Wayne, IN Vacant house fires worry neighbors.

Albany, NY City begins marking abandoned buildings.

Las Vegas, NV Squatters likely caused vacant building fire.

Seattle, WA Squatters caused abandoned house fire.

Holyoke, MA  Fire chief gives tour of worst abandoned buildings.

Charleston, WV  Challenges of vacant buildings.

Hermleigh, TX Firefighters told to let vacant house burn.

Chicago, IL Zoning commission approves Plexiglass board-ups.

Louisville, KY Vacant house fires alarm officials.

Orange County, FL  Squatter threatened to burn down abandoned apartment complex.

Midvale, UT Body found in vacant house fire.

Knoxville, TN Two escape abandoned house fire.

Athol, MA Abandoned building initiative sees results.

Mastic, NY Squatter rescued in abandoned house fire.

Lawrence, MA Homeless man charged with vacant house fire.

Bakersfield, CA Several people found inside during vacant building fire.

San Francisco, CA Squatters suspected in abandoned building fire.

Brockton, MA Five rescued in abandoned building fire.

Memphis, TN Body found in abandoned house fire.

Seattle WA Squatters surprise firefighters at vacant house fire.

Clark County, NV Squatters blamed for vacant apartment fire.

Las Vegas, NV Apartment occupants fear squatters after recent fires.

Los Angeles, CA Squatter dead in vacant house fire.

Cheyenne, WY  City struggles to deal with abandoned properties.

Flint, MI Teens arrested in connection with vacant house fire.

Corona, CA  Vagrant admits to setting multiple fires.

Detroit, MI Squatter dead in house fire.

Brockton, MA Site of abandoned building fire known for vagrants.

Bronx, NY Squatter killed in abandoned house fire.

Albuquerque, NM Homeless person starts abandoned building fire.

Oklahoma City, OK Two dead in abandoned house fire.

Lawton, OK Fire at house used by squatter.

Baltimore, MD Governor announces plan, funding to demolish vacant buildings.

Derry, NH Town council votes to demolish vacant building.

Indianapolis, IN Officials concerned about squatters and vacant house fires.

Seattle, WA Basement fire in well-known squatter house.

Guerneville, CA Citizens complain about growing homeless population.

Lebanon, PA Troublesome abandoned home demolished after third fire.

Nampa, CA Squatters known to use site of abandoned hospital fire.


Concord, CA Fire destroys squatter house.

Holyoke, MA Fire destroys house known for use by vagrants.

Las Vegas, NV Squatters suspected of starting vacant building fire.

Chicago, IL Body found after fire in vacant building.

Fresno, CA Mayor says city did all they could with property owner before fatal fire.

Fairfield, CA Vacant house fire site of transient activity.

Omaha, NE Neighbors want city action on site of vacant building fires.

Portland, OR Sprinklers and safe operations at abandoned building fire.

Lincoln, NE Bathroom light causes vacant building fire.

Fresno, CA Five squatters killed in abandoned house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Back-to-back fire with squatters in vacant apartment building.

Longmont, CO Man injured in abandoned mobile home fire.

Omaha, NE Vacant property fires on the rise.

Harrison Township, OH Claims of vagrants living in warehouse fire site.

Las Vegas, NV Fires in squatter homes keep firefighters busy.

Baltimore, MD Defensive operations at vacant building fire.

Salt Lake City, UT Defensive operations at vacant building, meth lab fire.

Los Angeles, CA Squatters suspected in vacant house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Vacant house fire reveals hoarder situation.

South Bend, IN Project lowers number of vacant building fires.

Cincinnati, OH Squatter injured in vacant apartment house fire.

Bakersfield, CA Concern over squatters and vacant house fires.

Bakersfield, CA Man injured in vacant house fire.

Alton, IL Squatter found inside vacant house fire.

Homewood, PA Homeless women charged with abandoned house fire.

Dayton, OH Squatter charged with vacant house fire.

Detroit, MI Squatter dies in house fire.

Detroit, MI Neighborhood seeks squatters to avoid abandonment of buildings.

Bourne, MA Fire department marks vacant/abandoned buildings.

Beaver Falls, PA String of vacant house fires continue.

Richmond, CA Abandoned house occupied by squatters burns.

Worcester, MA Vacant house demolished after fire.

Detroit, MI Squatter injured after jumping from vacant house fire.

Atlanta, GA Squatters known to use site of vacant building fire.

Philadelphia, PA Vacant house fire likely started by squatters.

Las Vegas, NV Fire abandoned home known for squatters.

Phoenix, AZ Fire in abandoned home used by squatters.

Atlanta, GA Neighbors want burned out home removed.

Warner Robins, GA Two bodies found in vacant house fire.

Dayton OH After second fire, vacant home demolition is called for.

Jackson, MS Battling vacant house fires cost thousands.

District Heights, MD Fire intentionally set in vacant house.

Newport News, VA City updates list of abandoned structures.

Beckley, WV Three rescued from abandoned house fire.

Modesto, CA Neighbors blame vacant house fire on squatters.

Nashville, TN Multiple rescues during fire at vacant inn.

New York, NY Squatters take advantage of vacant housing authority units in Harlem.

Indianapolis, IN City is concerned over abandoned building fires.

Seattle, WA Abandoned home where squatter was previously removed from, burns.

New Orleans, LA Squatter rescued from vacant house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Vacant house occupied by squatter burns.

West Hollywood, CA One dead in vacant commercial structure known for transients.

Bakersfield, CA Vacant houses called a major problem.

Athens, GA Safe operations at abandoned mill fire.

Pittsburgh, PA Vacant building damaged by fire, torn down.

Schenectady, NY Task force targets vacant buildings

Spring Valley, NY Body found in vacant house fire; squatters known to use structure.

Lexington, KY Two rescued from vacant building fire.

Titusville, FL Man dies in abandoned house fire.

Bakersfield, CA Community upset over vacant building fires.

Redding, CA Neighbors say vacant house fire was well-known for squatters.

Kingsport, TN Two dead in alleged vacant house fire.

Vancouver, BC Two dead in abandoned building fire.

Westland, MI Neighbors state children play in site of vacant house fire all the time.

Weatherford, TX Juveniles arrested for vacant house fire.

Harvey, IL Neighbors report squatters inside vacant house prior to fire.

North Miami Beach, FL Man rescued from abandoned house fire.

Highland Park, MI Suburban Detroit cities look at securing vacant, abandoned structures.

Charlotte, NC Man burned in vacant house fire.

Trenton, NJ Homeless men rescued from vacant row.

Coquitlam, BC Fire chief, city leaders call abandoned buildings a “threat”.

Irvington, NJ One dead in abandoned house fire.

Oklahoma City, OK City creates list; fines owners of abandoned properties for fire response.

Clovis, NM Man dies in abandoned house fire.

Fort Worth, TX Teen injured in vacant house fire.

Bakersfield, CA Juveniles set fires in vacant home.

Portland, OR Squatters, transients known to use site of abandoned house fire.

Roanoke, VA One dead, two injured in abandoned building fire.

Abingdon, MD Scavengers cause vacant house fire.

St. Augustine, FL One dead, one injured in vacant house fire.

Springfield, MO Neighbors report squatters stayed at site of vacant house fire.

Anna, IL City leaders address abandoned building problem.

South Salt Lake, UT Teens sought in connection to vacant building fire.

Albany, GA Arrest made after vacant house fire; signs of squatters.

Dayton, OH Smart, safe defensive operations during abandoned house fire.

Troy, NY City council tries to prevent vacant building fires.

Detroit, MI Three rescued from abandoned apartment building fire.

Detroit, MI Homeless woman starts fire for warmth; abandoned house fire goes to two-alarms.

San Jose, CA Squatters believed dead in abandoned warehouse fire.

Patterson, NJ City launches effort to secure vacant buildings.

Cincinnati, OH One dead in vacant building fire.

Richmond, CA Rescue at vacant building fire.

Fayetteville, NC Vacant house fires on the rise.

Indianapolis, IN Squatter rescued from house fire.

Tulsa, OK Firefighters keep an eye on vacant structures for squatters.


Muskegon Heights, MI Two squatters rescued from vacant house fire.

Tuktoyaktuk, NWT (Canada) Derelict buildings pose hazards for firefighters.

Fayetteville, NC Signs of homeless people living in burned out abandoned building.

Troy, NY Vacant, foreclosed home intentionally set on fire.

Apopka, FL Victim pulled from vacant house fire.

Chattanooga, TN Homeless people light fire to stay warm in vacant house.

Huntington, WV Homeless man sets fire to locomotive.

Las Vegas, NV Homeless man admits to starting vacant apartment fire.

Winston-Salem, NC Body found in vacant house fire.

Topeka, KS Homeless man rescued from storage unit fire.

West Manchester Township, PA Homeless man burned in fire.

Omaha, NE Community worried about vacant homes.

Yonkers, NY Evidence of squatters at vacant building fire.

Fresno, CA Homeless man trying to be warm starts vacant building fire.

Fort Lauderdale, FL Squatters cause vacant house fire.

Lemon Grove, CA Neighbors glad vacant home occupied by squatters burns.

Huntington, WV Fire damaged vacant homes given demolition priority.

Atlantic City, NJ Abandoned building fires highlight growing danger.

Fresno, CA Homeless people escape abandoned building fire.

Rockford, IL Vacant houses torn down after fire.

Tulsa, OK Signs of squatters in vacant house fire.

Rochester, NY Rescue at vacant house fire.

Atlantic City, NJ Woman rescued from abandoned building fire.

Meridian, MS Squatter dies in mobile home fire.

Chicago, IL Squatters take over vacant house; threaten to firebomb neighbors.

Salinas, CA Cooking causes vacant house fire.

Baltimore, MD Neighbors complain about vacant buildings after death of fire officer.

Banning, CA One dead in vacant department store fire.

Evansville, IN Neighbors report squatter activity at site of house fire.

Hamilton, OH Homeless man burned while starting fire in abandoned garage.

Billerica, MA Training in vacant building credited with saving firefighter in later fire.

Yonkers, NY Man injured in vacant house fire.

Auburn, NY Fire department begins marking vacant structures.

Council Bluffs, IA Homeless woman injured in vacant house fire.

Chatham, ON Body found in vacant house fire.

Chicago, IL Red X program silently phasing out.

Temple, TX Neighbors want vacant structure demolished.

Chicago, IL Squatter injured in vacant building fire.

Camden, NJ New technique to secure abandoned buildings.

Camden, NJ City officials live among abandoned buildings.

Queens, NY Neighbors worry about abandoned home.

Mission City, BC Property owners warned about abandoned house fires.

Bakersfield, CA City agencies team up to stop vacant structure fires.

Las Vegas, NV Evidence of squatters at vacant house fire.

Camden, NJ Squatter missing in abandoned building fire.

Owensboro, KY Neighbors report children playing in vacant house before fire.

Springfield, MO Neighborhood association takes on vacant buildings.

Bridgeport, CT Drone used to check conditions at abandoned factory fire.

Oakland, CA Squatters in area of three-alarm abandoned warehouse fire.

Rochester, NY Building identification helps firefighters.

South Bend, IN Neighbors claim vacant homes have been hideouts for squatters.

Lodi, CA Crews let abandoned house fire burn out.

Vallejo, CA Four-alarm fire at military barracks known for “homeless activity.”

Las Vegas, NV Neighbors report homeless people routinely in and out of home, site of fire.

Rockford, IL Officials recognize hazards of vacant house fires.

Bakersfield, CA Fighting abandoned structure fires proves to be costly.

Waterbury, CT Homeless people known to use site of vacant house fire.

Provo, UT People known to be living inside site of vacant house fire.

Knoxville, TN Abandoned buildings on college campus worry authorities.

Pointe Claire QC Fire in apartment building known for squatters.

Omaha, NB Children playing start vacant house fire.

Wichita KS Homeless man smoking blamed for abandoned apartment fire.

Moncton, NB Fire officials monitor abandoned buildings after fatal fire.

Flint, MI Abandoned house fires drop due to demolitions.

Aurora, IL Juveniles set fir to vacant building.

Oakland, CA Vacant building used for years by activists squatting, burns.

Miami, FL Abandoned house known to have squatters burns.

Las Vegas, NV Reports of homeless people and renovators inside vacant apartment that burns.

Stockton, CA Residents concerned about abandoned building fires.

Toledo, OH Defensive operations and demolition at vacant house fire.

Camden, NJ Vacant building collapses

Richmond, VA Teens spotted near vacant house before fire.

Auburn, NY Fire department tries to stop vacant building fires before the start.

Camden, NJ Homeless man rescued from vacant house fire.

Des Moines, IA City doesn’t have the funds to demolish abandoned nursing home.

Leicester, MA Trespassing teen injured inside vacant mill.

Lynn, MA Homeless pair found inside vacant building fire.

Stockton, CA Squatters using trailer involved in fire.

McKees Rocks, PA Residents voice concern about squatter in abandoned home.

Toldeo, OH Officials vote to demolish vacant hotel.

Portland, OR Woman rescued in vacant house fire.

Las Vegas, NV “Haven for homeless people” burns.

Tucson, AZ Occupants inside vacant house fire.

Evesham, NJ Township begins dealing with abandoned homes.

Chicago, IL One dead, one injured in vacant house fire.

Stockton, CA Safe operations during fire in vacant hotel.

Chicago, IL Profile of building marking system.

Hainesport Township, NJ Trooper saves vagrant from abandoned house fire.

High Point, NC Children playing with matches set abandoned house on fire.

Slidell, LA Homeless man injured in abandoned house fire.

Calwa, CA Abandoned building frequented by transients burns.


Rochester, NY Man rescued from abandoned house fire.

Port Townsend, WA Squatters linked to abandoned building fires.

San Diego, CA Transient cooking starts vacant building fire.

Sacramento, CA Four rescued from vacant house fire.

Bournemouth, UK Squatters rescued from abandoned house fire.

North Las Vegas, NV Neighborhood overcome by fires in abandoned homes.

Lincoln, NE Fire dangers grow as homeless people seek shelter in abandoned buildings.

Spokane, WA Squatters blamed for 75% of vacant house fires.

Houston, TX Squatters rescued from house fire.

Merced, CA Body found in abandoned house fire.

Indianapolis, IN Neighbors report several homeless people at site of vacant house fire.

Berkeley County, SC Squatters arrested for vacant house fire.

Moncton, NB Man dies in vacant house fire.

East Lake, AL Homeless man stayed in abandoned house, site of fire; neighbors had complained.

Modesto, CA Code enforcement and transient concerns after abandoned house fires.

Las Vegas, NV City plagued with squatters and vacant building fires.

South Bend, IN Squatters increase risk of abandoned building fires.

Shenandoah, PA Squatters known to use site of vacant house fire.

Dayton, OH Vacant house fire; neighbors report people coming and going from the house.

Antioch, CA Abandoned home, site of many fires, finally razed.

Las Vegas, NV Third fire in 24 hours at vacant senior center; Homeless people seen leaving building; homeless man found inside.

San Bernardino, CA Squatters to blame for two-alarm fire; breached walls to access second floor.

Montreal, QB Judge finds fire department justified in demolition of abandoned building.

Springfield, OR Homeless people known to stay in site of abandoned house fire.

Buffalo, NY Two men rescued from vacant house fire.

Sacramento, CA Five people rescued from vacant building fire.

Tulsa, OK Arrest and death in vacant building fire.

Amarillo, TX Transients a problem at apartment complex.

Syracuse, NY Two men rescued from vacant house fire.

Cumberland, MD Man charged with setting mattress fire inside vacant house.

Dallas, TX Body found inside vacant house fire.

Paris, TX Number of abandoned homes increases workload for fire department.

Denver, CO Body found inside abandoned house fire.

Southbridge, MA City officials plan action on abandoned buildings.

Toronto, ON Body found in abandoned building fire.

Oakland, CA Squatters flee vacant house fire.

Orillia ON City begins tearing down abandoned buildings.

Sandusky, OH Teens charged with setting vacant house fire.

Memphis, TN Man pulled from vacant house fire.

Newark, NJ Mayor’s abandoned home called a “fire trap.”

Newburgh, NY Woman rescued from abandoned house fire.

Providence, RI Man dies in vacant house fire.

Bronx, NY Three bodies found inside abandoned house fire.

Newburgh, NY Growing number of squatters breaking into abandoned homes.

Upper Marlboro, MD Maryland delegate beaten and robbed inside vacant apartment.

Chicago, IL Artistic board-ups reportedly more secure on abandoned structures.

Parkersburg, WV Vacant home demolished after fire.

Gresham, OR City struggles to deal with problems from abandoned homes.

Jackson, MS Arson at vacant dry cleaner after squatter fight.

Schenectady, NY Neighbors demand abandoned school full of squatters be torn down.

Las Vegas, NV Vacant apartment burns; residents report squatter traffic.

Chicago, IL Squatters arrested for apartment fire; mayday called during operations.

Portland, OR Squatters escape vacant house fire.

Tacoma, WA Squatter dead in vacant house fire.

Saginaw, MI Vacant home demolished after fire.

Fresno, CA Squatter living in garage blamed for apartment fire.

Hamilton, MA City works to fight rise in vacant building fires.

Jefferson City, MO Homeless man charged with starting vacant house fire.

Indio, CA Abandoned home known for transients burns.

Troy, NY Abandoned buildings demolished.

Ilford, UK Squatters rescued from abandoned nightclub fire.

Walnut Creek, CA Police take abandoned home from squatters.

Midland, TX Evidence of squatters at vacant building fire.

Muskegon Heights, MI City and county fight over vacant homes.

Las Vegas, NV Homeless man burned in abandoned house fire.

Memphis, TN News station helps citizens deal with abandoned home.

Harrisburg, PA City tries to deal with vacant, abandoned properties.

Dallas, TX Three-alarm fire at warehouse known for squatters.

Vicksburg, MI Four teens arrested for abandoned building fire. Three found on roof during fire.

Syracuse, NY Juveniles suspected of setting vacant house on fire.

New Castle, PA Three vacant house fires in 30 minutes.

Etna, PA Squatter arrested for vacant duplex fire.

Las Vegas, NV Well-known squatter home torn down.

Albany, NY Squatter found inside abandoned hotel during fire.

Charleston, WV Homeless couple rescued from vacant house fire.

Houston, TX Squatters blamed for abandoned house fire.

Hilton Head, SC Property owners demand officials tear down or renovate abandoned building.

Columbus, OH Boy rescued from vacant house fire.

Detroit, MI Squatters unaccounted for after vacant house fire; known to regularly live in house.

Jackson, MI Fire and rescue of workers in abandoned structure under demolition.

Chicago, IL One injured in vacant apartment fire.

Detroit, MI City selling seven vacant firehouses.

Prince George’s County, MD Officials begin demolishing abandoned structures.

Houston, TX City targets over 30 abandoned structures for demolition.

Winchester, KY Homeless man found in abandoned house fire arrested for arson.

Detroit, MI Deteriorating conditions in the city.

Walnut Hills, OH Man injured at vacant house fire.

Tulsa, OK Meth lab seen as cause of abandoned apartment building fire; one person rescued.

Springfield, OR One person injured at vacant house fire.

Lewiston, ME Third fire causes city to step up policing vacant properties.


Knoxville, TN Body found after fire in boarded up convenience store.

Dayton, OH Man burned by fire in vacant house.

Washington, PA Squatters suspected in starting abandoned house fire.

Brownsville, TX Teen girl charged with setting abandoned home on fire.

Southeast, NY Teens charged with setting abandoned home on fire.

Los Banos, CA Homeless man and woman arrested; fire set in vacant house during fight.

Wilmington, DE Body found after fire in vacant house.

Rochester, NY Officials identify vacant, dangerous buildings.

Staten Island, NY Firefighters injured in vacant/occupied house fire.

Indianapolis, IN Vacant home ordered demolished after fire.

Kansas City, MO Man injured in vacant house fire.

Weatherford, TX Homeless man believed to be behind cause of vacant building fire.

Cedar Rapids, IA Fire department takes news strategy towards vacant house fires.

Columbia, SC One person treated after abandoned house fire.

Upper Marlboro, MD Body found in abandoned house fire.

South Sacramento, CA Neighbors turn in squatter after house fire.

Detroit, MI Body found in vacant house fire.

Staunton, VA Vacant home allowed to burn.

Oahu, HI Squatters injured in abandoned house fire.

Shrewsbury, MA Abandoned restaurant deemed unsafe.

Jeannette, PA Police, firefighters search for teens in abandoned hospital.

Detroit, MI Long-standing vacant housing project slated for demolition.

Battle Ground, WA Teens start mattress fire in abandoned nursing home.

Hyannis, MA Teens sleeping in woods seek shelter; start fire in baseball broadcast booth.

Colorado Springs, CO Man rescued from basement of church during 0400 hrs fire.

Omaha, NE Body inside abandoned house fire identified as known homeless man.

Omaha, NE Body found inside abandoned house fire rubble.

Berwick, PA Vacant house fires worry neighbors.

Huntington, WV Firefighters let abandoned house burn.

Southbank, AU Squatters, pregnant teen pulled from abandoned building fire.

Detroit, MI Angels’ Night fires hit 17-year low.

Quincy, IL City fire department begins marking vacant buildings.

Connellsville, PA Health officer drafts vacant building policy.

Atlanta, GA Teens seen running from eyesore building shortly before fire.

Peoria, IL Roof collapses on building known for homeless people.

Glouchester City, NJ Homeless man admits to starting three-alarm fire.

Denver, CO Five dead in after hours fire at bar.

Pottsville, PA New law targets dwelling upkeep, appearance.

Colorado Springs, CO Abandoned building fire started by transients.

Richmond, CA Fire likely caused by squatters.

Dayton, OH Residents fear vacant house fires.

Silver City, NM Officials consider vacant building registry.

Canton OH Vacant house fires worry citizens.

Redding, CA Burned home known as common hangout for transients.

Eubank, KY Vacant structure fires worry town residents.

Canton, OH Vagrants jump from second floor during house fire.

Augusta, GA Code violations at large, vacant mall.

Ypsilanti, MI Abandoned home slated for demolition after inspection.

Huntington, WV Firefighters let abandoned home burn.

Mansfield, OH Captain calls for demolishing vacant buildings.

Canton, OH Vacant home finally torn down after fourth fire.

Knoxville, TN Squatters burned in abandoned house fire.

San Angelo, TX Signs of squatters found in abandoned building fire.

Beaver Dam, WI Vacant building ordinance stalls.

Knoxville, TN Squatters suspected in causing abandoned house fire.

Fort Worth, TX Firefighters inisde during roof collapse at vacant building fire.

Balto. Cnty, MD Historic designation keeps vacant building standing, burning.

Slinger, WI Toxic chemicals found stored inside abandoned building.

Manchester, NH City debates razing buildings damages by fire.

Memphis, TN Five vacant houses set on fire.

Frankfort, IL Cadets train with abandoned building.

Laguna Heights, TX Family homeless after abandoned house fire.

Pickering, ONT Owner pleads guilty to abandoned farmhouse, dungeon.

Portland, OR Five-alarm vacant hotel fire, propert used as storage site.

Memphis, TN Abandoned building fire causes citizens to speak up about neighborhood blight.

Bristol Township, PA Officials target vacant houses.

Logansport, IN Authorities work to seal abandoned houses.

Camden, NJ Program launched to identify dangerous abandoned buildings.

Lakeland, FL Squatters take over home, scene of earlier arson, murder attempt.

Seattle, WA Vacant homes seen as magnets for transients.

Vallejo, CA Squatters linked to recent vacant building fires.

Natrona County, WY Vacant buildings near school tempting for students.

Indianapolis, IN Arson on the rise, many in vacant buildings.

Kannapolis, NC City votes to demolish vacant buildings.

Concord, CA, Squatter admits to setting fire after arguing with other squatters.

Nyack, NY City proposes marking dangerous buildings.

Mobile, AL Homeless people suspected in cause of vacant house fire.

Detroit, MI Firefighters injured at vacant school fire, building on list for demolition.

Lorain, OH City struggles with vacant house fires.

Binghamton, NY Children set fire to vacant home while in basement.

Philadelphia, PA Abandoned home collapses after years of warnings.

Birmingham, AL Police officer charged in vacant house fire spree.

Schenectady, NY Foreclosure raid follows series of vacant house fires.

Las Vegas, NV Neighbors upset about vacant, burnt home.

Birmingham, AL City to demolish over 200 vacant homes after string of arson.

St. Petersburg, FL Homeless woman dies from injuries after being resuced from vacant house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Vacant home known to be occupied by homeless people burns.

Salt Lake City, UT Transient arrested for vacant house fire.

Prichard, AL Rash of vacant building fires likely started by homeless people.

Detroit, MI Risk vs aggressiveness in decision to let vacant buildings burn.

New Orleans, LA Vacant firehouses up for auction.

Buffalo, NY Demolitions leave many wondering if vacant homes could have been saved.

Detroit, MI Citizens and business owners sue neglected property owners.

Chicago, IL Demo bid process for vacant homes becomes competitive.

District of Columbia Neglected home of local activists placed on abandoned property list despite owners living inside.

Walnut Hill, FL Dispute breaks ut at fire over who own vacant house.

El Paso, TX Property owners react to vacant building ordinance.

Detroit, MI Eyesore finally torn down.

Bronx, NY – Building Department officials leave vacant building unsecured.

Philadelphia, PA Organizations try to deal with abandoned buildings.

Kansas City, MO Abandoned homes become nuisance for neighbors.

South Salt Lake, UT People found living in storage units.

Omaha, NE Smoke is full; vacant home lights up after ventilation.

Chillicothe, MO City plans demolition of vacant homes.

Independence, MO Abandoned school burs; neighbors report teens inside many times.

Detroit, MI Fire Commissioner propses letting vacant buildings burn if over 50% involved, to save budget.

Seattle, WA Neighbors happy vacant home burns.

Highland Park, MI Vacant homes in series of fires known as haven for squatters.

Lewiston, ME Fire department takes cautious approach to dangerous buildings.

Philadelphia, PA City looks at who owns vacant properties after death of two firefighters.

Toledo, OH Citizens criticize city’s tracking of abandoned properties.

Galveston, TX Man jumps from abandoned house fire.

Boston, MA City task force created after Worcester Cold Storage fire finds over 200 “fire traps”.

Huntington, WV Town questions why so many vacant homes?

San Francisco, CA “Occupy” protestors take over vacant church building.

Rancho Cordova, CA Firefighters pull two from inside vacant motel fire.

Irvington, NJ Squatter cause two alarm house fire.

Detroit, MI One person dead in fire at vacant commercial building.

Newark, NJ Vacant home owned by mayor catches fire.

Chicago, IL Neighborhood activists say city didn’t do enough to secure vacant house.

Kansas City, MO Worker finds body while cleaning up after vacant house fire.

Dayton, OH Homeless man accused of setting fire in vacant home.

Holyoke, MA Mill fire raises problem of vacant buildings in Mass. town.

Lexington, KY Child admits to setting vacant house fire.

Las Vegas, NV Neighbors say vacant home is a hangout for kids.

Danbury, CT City worries about increase in abandoned properties.

Bradenton, FL Firefighters use code enforcement officer to identify vacant properties to use for training.

Camden, NJ One dead, another injured, in vacant rowhouse fire; Building demolished after fire, neighbors had called for demolition earlier; known to hold squatters.

Wilkes-Barre, PA Fatal fire raises concern about vacant properties.

Beltsville, MD Vacant home, for sale, burns twice in two weeks.

Philadelphia, PA Man found dead in abandoned rowhouse fire.

Pinole, CA “Pot Grow” operation discovered in vacant house fire.

Anderson, SC Abandoned building, site of fire and murders, receives condemned notice.

Los Angeles, CA Second body found in abandoned building fire.

Boston, MA Officials target illegal apartment buildings.

Florence, SC Legislation urged to deal with vacant buildings.

Beech Island, SC Body found in abandoned housed fire.

Memphis, TN One dead, another injured in vacant house fire.

Wilkes-Barre, PA Fire Chief urges demolition of vacant hotel due to firefighting dangers.

Paterson, NJ Body of homeless man found in boarded up, abandoned house fire.

Columbus, OH City to demolish 900 vacant, abandoned houses deemed dangerous.

South Bend, IN City to demolish 100 vacant, abandoned homes.

South Bend, IN City demolishes vacant home, scene of nine fires.

West Mahanoy Twp., PA Department seeks identification system for abandoned structures.

Waco, TX Body of transient man found inside abandoned house fire.

Detroit, MI Money reserved to demolish vacant structures unused.

Cincinnati, OH CIDS information helps firefighters with vacant building fires.

Brazil, IN Two injured in blast and fire at vacant house; cooking meth suspected.

Riverhead Town, NY Vacant for 15 years, town demolished vacant home where squatters had been a problem.

Oklahoma City, OK Man found dead inside abandoned warehouse fire; total of three people were staying in the structure.

Milwaukee, WI, Man found dead inside vacant house fire.

Tulsa, OK Homeless man injured in vacant house fire.

Manhattan, NY Homeless man killed in abandoned subway room fire.

Freeport, IL Vacant building legislation tabled during overhaul process.

Las Vegas, NV Foreclosure rate adds to worry of increased abandoned home fires.

Watertown, NY Squatter cited for starting fire to keep warm in abandoned apartment house.

Seattle, WA Burned transient man found at abandoned house fire.

Modesto, CA Neighbors blame squatters for vacant house fire

Springfield, OH Squatter rescued from second floor of reported vacant home.

Columbus, OH Firefighters push for ways to designate vacant homes and reduce risk of injury.

St. John the Baptist Parish, LA Vacant apartment buildings in housing project, some previously burned, finally torn down.

Lula, GA Man rescued from trailer fire; Locals state trailer had been vacant for three to four months.

Detroit, MI Body of homicide victim found in one of many fires set in vacant homes.

Knoxville, TN Evidence of many homeless people living in vacant warehouse found during fire. No injuries reported.

South Bend, IN Family seen leaving abandoned home prior to fire; city unable to demo home since fire department owns structure.

Minneapolis, MN Firefighters recall falling into basement at vacant house fire while searching for occupant inside.

Colorado Springs, CO Squatters seen as cause of abandoned warehouse fire.

Boise, ID Fire companies able to train inside vacant warehouse.

Richmond, VA Homeless woman charged in fatal vacant house fire.

Houston, TX Children blamed for starting fire inside vacant house.

Hyattsville, MD Local media reports on problems with vacant homes in D.C. area comunity. Mutli-series report.

Bel Air, MD Vacant landmark to be torn down.

Chicago, IL Two squatters jump from second floor to escape house fire.

San Jose, CA Firefighters recognize vacant home is unstable and use exterior operations.

Chicago Heights, IL Police arrest five juveniles after property manager discovers them living in vacant house.

Lexington, KY Neighbors say squatter was living in home, site of natural gas explosion.

Dover, MN Fire department allowed to burn down house deemed “eyesore and public safety hazard.”

Los Angeles, CA Pot growing operation found inside vacant house fire.

Jersey City, NJ Police officers and firefighter injured pulling squatters from vacant building fire.

Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Public Schools fined for safety violations after fire in vacant elementary school.

Pickering, Ontario Suspicious fire destroys abandoned farm home were “dungeon room” was discovered by authorities.

Columbus, OH City struggles with growing number of vacant homes; citizens ask that they be torn down.

Columbus, OH Fatal fire creates public hearing on vacant housing.

Chicago, IL Owner of abandoned building where two firefighters died and 19 were injured, held in jail, unable to post bail.

Beckley, WV Vacant building destroyed in fire, owned by city, leased to congregation for church services.

Spencer, OK Vacant since 1972, firefighters take defensive position at abandoned high school fire.

Douglasville, GA – Officials meet with homeowners on possession law.

Irvington, NJ – Fire in a structure well-known for having squatters.

Charleston, SC – Fire building well-known for having squatters.


Kern County, CA – December 2011 Man’s body found inside vacant house fire.

Cincinnati, OH – December 2011 Fire department takes school board to task for not keeping vacant elementary school secure; problems found in recent fire.

Sweetwater, TX – December 2011 Man dies in Christmas Day fire; firefighters thought home was vacant.

Columbus, OH – December 2011 Landlord knew family was in vacant house.

Columbus, OH – December 2011 “House where three died should have been vacant.”

Columbus, OH – December 2011 Family of three dies in vacant house fire; had been living in a car previously.

Palm Beach Cnty., FL – December 2011 Firefighters help homeless teen found living on the streets.

New Orleans, LA – December 2011 Latest fire in abanonded building highlights dangers; 22 firefighters injured in abandoned building fires.

Hoosick Falls, NY – December 2011 Teens charged with setting fire to long-standing vacant building fire.

Baltimore, MD – December 2011 Local paper finds police major owns vacant rowhome.

Rochester, NY – December 2011 Firefighters stress problems and safety with vacant dwelling fires; community opposed to signs marking such structures.

Kansas City, MO – December 2011 Vacant schools seen as a problem for city.

McKeesport, PA – December 2011 Fire chief opposes letting vacant buildings burn down.

Minneapolis, MN – December 2011 Homeless man dies in vacant house fire, fire set for warmth. Story offers readers signs of squatters possibly using vacant homes.

Memphis, TN – November 2011 Man rescued from burning shed.

Saginaw, MI – November 2011 Community questions if abandoned homes are worth saving.

Columbus, OH – November 2011 Defensive operations, with no injuries, during three-alarm apartment fire.

Toldeo, OH – November 2011 Vacant house fire extends to exposure via high winds; family of four homeless.

Sarasota, FL – November 2011 Repeated fires and chemical dumping at vacant homes known to have homeless traffic.

Bronx, NY – November 2011 One dead, two injured after fire in illegally renovated garage.

Pittsburgh, PA – November 2011 Homeless man rescued from storage unit fire.

Baldwin, MD – November 2011 Father tries to rescue son in abandoned house fire.

Midland, TX – November 2011 Fire destroys structure well known to shelter the homeless.

Trenton, NJ – November 2011 Body of squatter found in abandoned house, near scene of fire.

Millville, CA – November 2011 Squatter cooking blamed for duplex fire.

Abilene, TX – November 2011 Fire in abandoned mobile home highlights judge’s earlier ruling stopping demoltion of abandoned structures.

Washington Twp., PA October 2011 Squatter dies of smoke inhalation after fire in vacant house.

Midtown, TN – October 2011 Homeless people known to use apartment building in large fire.

Chicago, IL – October 2011 Fallen firefighter’s children sue owners of abandoned building.

Washington Township, NJ – October 2011 Body found in long-vacant home.

Tulsa, OK – October 2011 Legislation proposed to deal with vacant, abandoned buildings.

Baltimore, MD – October 2011 City begins marking vacant buildings.

Punxsutawney, PA – August 2011 Volunteer firefighter charged with setting vacant house on fire.

Albany, NY – August 2011 City studied vacant building demolition proposal.

Berwyn, IL – August 2011 10-year vacant home collapses during fire; hoarding conditions found.

Waterbury, CT – July 2011 Two dead in murder-suicide in home believed to be vacant.

Toldeo, OH – July 2011 Teen admits to setting fire to vacant homes; trying to clean up neighborhood.

Toldeo, OH – July 2011 Councilman want vacant homes demolished in order to prevent arson.

Bend, OR – July 2011 Home well known for transients burns.

Detroit, MI – July 2011 Body of slain child found during vacant house fire.

Tulsa, OK – July 2011 Neighborhood fights abandoned building problem.

Baton Rouge, LA – July 2011 Squatter found dead after vacant building fire.

Bronx, NY – July 2011 Squatter found dead after fire in abandoned brownstone.

Camden, NJ – July 2011 Squatter sets fire after argument with another squatter.

Red Bluff, CA – July 2011 Ample evidence of squatters in vacant house fire.

Butte, MT – July 2011 Man sets fire while cooking meth in vacant house.

“Not So Vacant, Vacants” Size up article, SAFE Firefighter, June 2011

Birmingham, AL – June 2011 Body found in vacant apartment fire.

Chillicothe, OH – June 2011 Firefighters mark vacant buildings.

Detroit, MI – June 2011 Bodies of two found in vacant house fire, possible homicide.

Courtenay, Canada – June 2011 Homeless return to burned out structure.

Flint, MI – June 2011 Safe operations at fire in long-standing vacant building.

Pacific, WA – June 2011 Juvenile sets fire to attic of vacant home.

Gulfport, MS – June 2011 Neighbors report vagrants living in vacant home which burned.

Detroit, MI – June 2011 Fire Commissioner implements new policy on fighting vacant building fires.

Colonie, NY – June 2011 Three teens set fire to abandoned building.

Rochester, NY – June 2011 City tears down vacant apartment building after fire.

Cleveland, OH – May 2011 Firefighters find explosive devices in vacant house fire.

Buford, GA – April, 2011 Maintenance man accidentally sets fire to vacant house (was being remodeled).

Rockford, IL – March 2011 Woman dies in abandoned house fire.

Salt Lake City, UT – March 2011 Two charged with arson while cooking in vacant building.

Pittsburg, CA – March 2011 Increase noted in transient-started fires.

Sciota, NH – March 2011 Vagrants charged with abandoned house fire.

Bessemer, AL – March 2011 Body found inside abandoned house fire.

Fort Worth, TX – March 2011 Body found inside vacant house fire.

Baltimore, MD – March 2011 Burned man rescued from exposure during 2-alarm fire in vacant dwelling.

Sacramento, CA – March 2011 Video report; fire strikes building known for transients.

Mobile, AL – February 2011 Video report, city council addresses vagrant issue following recent fires.

Denver, CO – February 2011 Video report, teen girls rescued after breaking into abandoned factory and falling through roof.

Alden, NY – February 2011 Homeless man rescued from vacant house fire; neighbor saw man entering house earlier.

Los Angeles, CA – February 2011 Fire in vacant apartment building in Lynwood kills one person, injures another. Neighbors report building used by homeless people.

Vallejo, CA – February 2011 Neighbors report homeless people had been using home that caught fire.

Springfield, MO – January 2011 Neighbor rescues two of three squatters living in known vacant house. Other neighbors had repeatedly reported squatters to police in the past.

Vallejo, CA – January 2011 Candle reported as cause of 2-alarm fire in boarded up vacant structure.

Huntington Beach, CA – January 2011 Alcohol energy drink linked to bodies of teens found in vacant apartment building.

Indianapolis, IN – January 2011 Firefighters battle multi-alarm fire in well-known downtown vacant building, without reported injuries.

Dayton, OH – January 2011 Body of worker found after fire extinguished in vacant home being remodeled. Owner was unaware worker was staying the night in house.

Providence, RI – January 2011 City plans to board up vacant building after small fire (two squatters arrested) and neighborhood complaints (video).

Opelousas, LA – January 2011 Neighbors report seeing homeless man in and out of abandoned home many times as well as prior to fire.

Waterford, MI – January 2011 Three teens caught skipping school and videotaping themselves setting a fire inside an unoccupied warehouse. Sprinklers controlled the fire.

Yonkers, NY – January 2011 4-alarm fire in vacant building, with history of violations, spreads to adjoining apartment building. No reported firefighter injuries.

Tampa, FL – January 2011 Small fire reveals marijuana growing operation inside vacant commercial structure.

East St. Louis, MO – January 2011 Fire in abandoned house spreads to day care.

Mayville, ND – January 2011 Vacant home burns over 13 hours as firefighters operate safely to avoid injuries.

Warren, OH – January 2011 City orders large vacant industrial buildings to be torn down.

Lawrenceville, PA – January 2011 Fire in vacant rowhouse unit spreads through six additional homes.

Kinston, NC – January 2011 Copper thieves arrested at vacant house fire.

Rochester, NY – January 2011 Demolition of 400 vacant buildings linked to decline in vacant building fires in 2010.

Webster, MA – January 2011 Town officials try to shame property owners into fixing neglected buildings.

Birmingham, AL – January 2011 Homeless man found dead in vacant house fire, despite warming center nearby. Fire reportedly knocked in five minutes. No reported injuries.

Philadelphia, PA – January 2011 Philadelphia woman complains long and loud enough to have vacant home next door torn down.

Toledo, OH – January 2011 Proper sizeup upon arrival keeps Toledo firefighters safe.

Philadelphia, PA – January 2011 4 alarm fire in vacant building, with multiple collapses. No firefighter injuries reported.

Philadelphia, PA – January 2011 Woman’s body found inside known abandoned, drug house after fire.

Knoxville, TN – January 2011 Neighbors report homeless people staying inside structure prior to fire.

Tulsa, OK – January 2011 Video report; homeless group trying to stay warm start Tulsa house fire.

Chicago, IL – December 2010
Firefighters rescued two squatters from a vacant West Side building.

New Orleans, LA – December 2010
Eight dead, two injured in abandoned warehouse fire.

Philadelphia, PA – December 2010
Elderly man found dead inside burned warehouse.

Chicago, IL – December 2010
Owner of building in LODD fire may face criminal charges. Video report.

Altoona, PA – December 2010
Training and preplanning with vacant buildings.

Bend, OR – December 2010
“- there was extensive evidence that transients had been living in the vacant home.”

Freson, CA – December 2010
Squatter starts fire.

Dallas, TX – November 2010
Police hear calls from help within vacant building on fire. Homeless man rescued.

Hartford, CT – October 2010
“When firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke and a small fire in the building, fire officials said. There also were signs that people had been living in the building.”

Prague, Czech Republic – October 2010
Two rescued, nine dead, from fire in abandoned building in Prague. Video.

Houston, TX – October 2010
Vacant homes catch fire in Houston; “Wells, who captured the flames on her cell phone camera, knows the property inside and out, especially those who she says would often frequent it.”

Syracuse, NY – Oct 2010
“”During our initial attack we found mattresses, couches and that would support that there could be people staying there illegally or squatting,” said Deputy Fire Chief Charles Duffy.” Video report.

Albany, NY – October 2010
Smart firefighting. Chief makes the right call on fire in massive cold storage building.

Dayton, OH – October 2010
Scene of violent rape burns down. If possible, vacant structures should be searched not only for vagrants but crime victims as well.

Decatur, Ill. – October 2010
VES learned a month ago in training is used to rescue baby in house fire.

Oak Park, Ill. – October 2010
Teen rescued from home that had been vacant since original owners left six months ago.

Syracuse NY Firefighters Inspect Vacant Buildings
Earlier fire prompts city inspection. WSYR TV video report, October 2010

Baltimore, MD – October 2010
Homeless man rescued from fire in a two-story vacant rowhouse.

Washington, D.C. – October 2010
“as soon we walked in and saw bloody footprints across the lobby area I knew the upstairs was going to be pretty bad.”

Niagara Falls, NY – September 2010
Child found dead inside vacant home. Fire conditions upon arrival prevented a primary search.

Vallejo, Calif. – March 2010
Two homeless people rescued from vacant auto dealership. Location was well known by local authorities for being occupied by squatters.

Boston, Mass. – December 2009
Homeless man rescued from warehouse. Evidence of multiple people living inside, well organized.

Houston, TX – April 2009
Firefighters rescue three people found sleeping inside the rear of a closed convenience store.

Mayor Menino declares war on owners of dangerous properties in wake of blaze
Boston Herald report, September 2010

Boston cracking down on unsafe properties
NECN video report, September 2010

Worcester, Mass – March 2010
3-alarm fire in vacant factory

Preplanning Pays Off for Boston Chief – July 2010
District chief pulls members away prior to collapse of burning vacant cold storage warehouse.

X-Rated Firefighting
Worcester’s building marking system.


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1 Comment

  • Michael Furci says:

    To not search would a dereliction of duty. In Lorain, Ohio, like many other cities, we’ve had fatalities in abandoned buildings and homes. Companies have pulled homeless individuals off balconies and out of windows.

    Firefighting is inherently a dangerous job. If you don’t like that fact, do something else. If you’re not going to search a structure simply because its abandoned, while disregarding a good size up and risk assessment, which some are advocating, you’re not a firefighter.

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