Three fires in one week have neighbors in the Locust Street area of Springfield very uneasy — especially since fire officials say at least one of those fires was intentionally set.
Intense flames once again consumed the back of a large, abandoned Locust Street apartment building Monday. It’s an all too familiar scene. The same building caught fire Sunday night.
“It was an arson fire, somebody set it in the back of the building,” Dennis Leger, Executive Aide to Fire Commissioner Joeseph Conant, said.
Those fires are similar to one which broke out last Tuesday afternoon in a different section of the same apartment complex. Three fires in six days. Firefighters say they’re all suspicious.
“Just by looking at the building, you can tell it was a devastating fire,” one neighbor told us.
Overall, Locust Street neighbors say their nerves are rattled.
“These fires could catch onto the building at the corner, it could catch on to our building. The tenants here are afraid,” the same neighbor, who didn’t want to give his name, said.
“I think that, you know, something going on in this area here, that we don’t know,” neighbor Herminio Rodriguez said. “We scared. This stuff scary.”
The buildings were condemned by the city for code violations in 2010, so nobody should have been inside them. Arson investigators spent Monday night searching for evidence.
“Not only is it costing taxpayers money, but it’s putting firefighters lives in jeopardy having vacant buildings like this in Springfield,” one neighbor said.
So far, the fires have only broke out at abandoned buildings, still those on Locust Street still say they just want whoever’s responsible for them to be caught.
“I have a serious fear of fire and it will make me have restless nights because it’s so close to my building,” the neighbor said.
Springfield Police say they have extra cruisers that will be stationed on Locust Street through the overnight.