Albuquerque property faces emergency demolition after another fire
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews were called to a building near Central and Tingley early Monday morning. It wasn’t the first time they had been dispatched to that location.
The property had been on a list made by the city to either demolish or bring back up to code.
“We first got into his property in June of 2023, where we posted it substandard, it was breached and broken into,” said Angelo Metzgar, code compliance manager for the CABQ Planning Department.
The property caught fire again Monday.
“Since then there have been at least three fires by our count, and we’ve had to be out there three times to secure it and get it cleaned,” Metzgar said.
Last year, AFR says a man died in a fire at the same property.
Metzgar says the structure is on the city’s Problematic Properties list. Metzgar says those are the worst of the worst.
“They’re ones that are either, we’re constantly having to clean up or re-secure, or they’re ones that are catching fire repeatedly, ones that APD is, uh, you know, for criminal activity, and that’s when it rises to the problematic property,” Metzgar said.
He said the city works with property owners to try and rehab the buildings back up to code. If that can’t happen, moves will be made to get a property condemned and on the list for demolition. That’s what the city was waiting for – before the property caught fire.
“It was slated for demolition to go through, you know, the condemnation through city council action,” Metzgar said. “We did perform a title search, we’re just waiting for that to come back to us from the title company.”
Now, because of the fire, he says it’s moved up on the list.
“There’s a bunch of variables that go into that timeline,” Metzgar said. “So if a property is on our list, and let’s say it catches fire, like we had this morning at one of them, that it’s now structurally unsound, and that will get bumped up as an emergency demolition to get that property down.”
There were no reported injuries Monday.
So far, the city says it has had 30 properties demolished – 15 by the city, and 15 by property owners.