SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — For the third time in two weeks, a vacant apartment building goes up in flames.
The fire broke out a little around 12:40 p.m. at 258 Locust Street in Springfield.
It took firefighters several hours to knock down the flames.
This is the third time firefighters have been called to this apartment building in the last two weeks. Last night, crews were also called to similar fire at the building next door.
Officials are investigating Monday’s as an act of arson.
“We had a fire here last night around 7 p.m.,” says Dennis Leger, Executive Aide to Springfield’s Fire Commissioner. “Somebody set it in the back of the building.”
Leger adds, “It looks like it started in the same general area this time, in the back, in the rear porches on the left side of the building. They did a good job this time — I mean first and second floor were heavy fire in the back.”
Crews tried to attack the fire from inside the building, but the flames got too big and firefighters were forced to get out. They spent the next several hours attacking the flames from outside the Locust Street building.
Leger says no one was injured, and no one was inside the building when the fire started.
“Obviously, it’s a very suspicious fire,” says Leger. “There’s no reason for it, there’s no electricity there, nobody lives there, so Arson and Bomb is on scene investigating.”
There have also been reports of vagrants living in the building, and investigators haven’t ruled out the possibility that at least one of these earlier fires was accidental. But with the amount of damage this particular fire caused, Monday’s fire seems highly suspicious.
“We’ve got a partial collapse in the back there, somebody from the city is on the scene,” says Leger. “We’re going to try to get this thing torn down as soon as we can, before somebody gets hurt in there.”
Flames also spread to the building next door this afternoon. That’s the same building that caught on fire Sunday evening. Crews were able to put out that fire much quicker.