WEST FARGO-West Fargo fire officials believe a fire that nearly destroyed a vacant house on Monday, June 5, was intentionally set.
Fire crews were first dispatched to the home next to the FedEx freight building, near 26th Street and Charyl Avenue Northwest, around 10 p.m. Monday, June 5. Crews were then called to a second fire around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the property, where they found tires on the roof and rafters on fire.
West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller said the first fire appears to have been intentionally set but the second fire was a result of rekindling. The second fire was likely started by a small pocket of an ember that re-ignited. Fuller said there were no hot spots when crews initially left the scene.
The first fire nearly destroyed the vacant home but nobody was injured. The home was supposed to be torn down next week, authorities said.
Fuller deemed the first fire "suspicious" on Tuesday and said the case is still under investigation. His department, along with the West Fargo Police Department and North Dakota Fire Marshal, is investigating the case.
There was no was running water or electricity going to the home.
Neighbors say no one had lived in that home for the past year and a half, but they have noticed a lot of suspicious activity and there may have been squatters living there.
"There have been people in and out of there and I know there has got to be drug activity out there. There was a lot of strange things. A lot of people going in or out," said Ronald Brager, a neighbor.
Extra police patrols are planned in the area, Fuller said.