Frustrated neighbor voices concern following second vacant house fire

[anvplayer video=”5145861″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A second vacant house fire in a week, in the metro, has neighbors concerned for a whole new reason.

Nobody was hurt and firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to other homes, but neighbors are frustrated because some folks – in this particular neighborhood – say they saw this coming.

They say they’ve called police about problematic people in the past, but it didn’t stop what used to be a nice house from getting completely torched.

“They had their tanker truck spraying it from the top, and they had a truck here spraying in the front, and they had a truck on the other side,” said a neighbor. 

Around 3 a.m. a big fire broke out at a vacant house becoming the second vacant house fire in a week. 

Neighbors in the neighborhood just off Tramway and a little ways north of I-40 suspect a similar problem as the previous fire in the International District.

“I know the druggies were hanging out here. They can walk right in here, hop that fence, bust in the place,” said a neighbor.

The house wasn’t vacant for long after a recent kitchen fire left it empty during renovations. They anticipated troublemakers would try to break in while contractors were coming and going, so they put a fence up. 

One neighbor says that didn’t stop some problematic neighbors from coming by last night.

“There’s some good people living right next door to them. They keep their mouths shut out of fear of retaliation but the druggies parade here, we see them at night, back and forth into this house,” a neighbor said. 

So we asked if anyone called the police?

“Pfft. Probably a thousand times between this neighborhood right up here,” said the neighbor.

APD says they started to receive calls about this house back in August – even before the fire. In September, Code Enforcement boarded up windows and locked up doors.

Then in October, APD responded to a call about suspicious activity but never found anyone.

Code Enforcement had noticed improvements with the property, but those renovations were undone by the flames. Now, ashes and frustration remain.

“We just don’t get why has this gone on for over a year, and this is probably a result of them being in here last night,” said the neighbor.