Investigators Call Vacant House Fire "Suspicious"

By: KKTV 11 News Email
By: KKTV 11 News Email

Two house fires in as many days in Colorado Springs one is considered suspicious.

The fire is investigated as a suspicious fire because the home, at 1346 Shenandoah Drive, has been vacant for over a year. The house is near South Academy and Fountain.

A neighbor who lives across the street saw smoke billow out of the house; at one point even covering the driveway. Tony Tidwell called 9-1-1.

"It looked like a bad smoke machine gone array, it covered the entire house at one point,” said Tidwell.

Tidwell tells us the house has been vacant since last December and that the bank just foreclosed on it a few months ago. During that time, his family has witnessed several break-ins.

"We’ve called police several times. We've caught kids playing in the back yard, we've caught guys coming out of the back carrying property that belonged to the house,” said Tidwell. He adds, “Breaking into we've gotten used to, but fire coming out, that was a big surprise.”

Investigators say no one was in the house when the fire started, but Tidwell found the back door open.

While he knows investigators will do their job to figure out what happened, he has his own theory.

He thinks it could have been a squatter trying to stay warm.

"Utilities are turned off, there's no power, no water in the house. There's nothing or no one in there that could have made the fire unless it was somebody staying the night. Doors don't break open by themselves,” said Tidwell.

Three firefighters were hurt while on scene by slipping on ice created by the water they were spraying and cold conditions. They are expected to be okay.

But investigators tell us this could have been a very dangerous situation. Because the house was sealed up so tight, they had to make holes in the roof to vent before entering, or it could have caused dangerous back-draft conditions which could lead to an explosion.

There is no word yet on how the fire started, but the investigation is ongoing. They tell us it could take time to find an exact cause.

Stay with KKTV, and KKTV.com for updates as they become available.

Again investigators are calling the fire suspicious, so if you know anything you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.


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