Neighborhood reacts after abandoned building catches fire

Neighbors expressed concern after an abandoned apartment caught fire in midtown.

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 7:40 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) An abandoned structure on 16th Street went up in flames Wednesday night.

"When crews got to the scene, it was completely engulfed." Mindy Andrasevits, Fire Inspector St. Joseph Fire Department said. 

The fire was so large, SJFD took a defensive approach, containing the inferno and keeping the fire from spreading to a neighboring home.

"[The neighbor] was already feeling the heat from the fire," Andrasevits said. 

Johnny Raven lives across the street from the burned building. 

"It was just completely engulfed in flames," Raven said. 

Neighbors in the area told KQ2 that the building had been a gathering place for squatters. Raven said his landlords would try to address the issue with no avail.

"It became this kind of game of hot potato of finding who owns the property and who’s responsible for the derelict condition of it," Raven said. 

The fire department said neighbors had a strong suspicion of what caused the blaze. 

"Neighbors reported that a lot of homeless individuals were in and out of the building and sleeping there at night," Andrasevits said. 

Raven confirmed the concerns but expressed optimism.

"Luckily, I think the city council is working on measures to try to improve [abandoned homes] for everyone the city," Raven said.

"[Hopefully, they can make some of these] old abandoned buildings beautiful again," Raven said. 

SJFD said they responded to the same building as recently as a couple weeks ago for a smaller fire. 

Article Comments

Saint Joseph
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 85°
Maryville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Savannah
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Cameron
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 86°
Fairfax
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
A disturbance was moving through southeast Nebraska this morning and it brought clouds to northwest Missouri & northeast Kansas. It was cooler afternoon due to the clouds and the northeast winds.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

 

Community Events