LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The cause of a vacant house fire in southwest Lawton remains under investigation. This is the second fire at this home in less than a week.
“This time of year people, if they do not have homes or if they are homeless in the area, they are going to try to find those unsecured residences throughout the city and it is a problem that we experience each year,” said Marc Sutphin, Assistant Fire Marshal for the City of Lawton.
That’s what officials believe happened Thursday morning at a vacant home on Southwest 29th St.
“The call came in from a house on 34th St,” said Mark Murphy, Assistant Fire Chief for the Lawton Fire Department. “She said it was the house behind her house. When crews arrived at the address that called it in, they had to go over the fence and start fighting the fire from the backyard.”
They also took every measure to make sure no one was inside.
“We went to a different level because we were told when we first got here that there was possibly a woman inside that had been seen coming in and out of this house,” said Murphy.
But after two complete searches no one was found.
“We had two primary search teams go in and they didn’t find anything," said Murphy. "It’s something that shouldn’t of happened because we’re putting our crews in danger to save somebody that probably shouldn’t have been in there to begin with.”
“I was just at this location on Sunday for a fire on the outside of the structure,” said Sutphin.
Authorities are asking neighbors or anyone in the area who may have seen something to call the Lawton Fire Marshal’s Office.
“Right now, all I know is there was a newer model Chevy pickup extended cab black in color that was parked in the driveway and maybe a white male in black jeans, white shirt and ball cap was seen walking away from the structure approximately 20 minutes prior to,” said Sutphin.
Also according to fire code, it is the responsibility of the home owner to properly secure their property so that no one can get in undetected.
Officials recommend you call police immediately if you see strange activity coming from a vacant home in your neighborhood that way officers can hopefully take care of it before it escalates.