House fire

Anderson firefighters battled a blaze Monday morning at this house in the 600 block of Brown Street.

ANDERSON — Anderson firefighters battled a fire at a vacant house for about 3½ hours Monday morning.

Firefighters were dispatched to 621 Brown St. near downtown at 5:10 a.m., Fire Chief Dave Cravens said. Because the house is a two-story structure, a ladder truck, along with three engine companies, were dispatched.

Cravens estimated damage to the vacant house at $50,000.

He said an adjacent house also sustained fire damage to siding and a porch area.

No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze.

“Over the past few months we have had a number of vacant house fires,” Cravens said. “It appears they might have been started by squatters because candles have been found in the buildings.”

Todd Fisher, director of the Anderson Municipal Development Department, said the number of fires in vacant buildings has been about the same as in past winters.

“It’s winter time,” he said. “I don’t investigate the cause; we work on the cleanup.”

The Anderson Board of Public Safety is considering a request by Fisher for the demolition of five houses that have been recently damaged by fire.

The houses are at 2734 Brown St., 1238 E. 28th St., 2022 and 2026 Main St., and 719 Prospect St.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.