Official: Kids may have started vacant house fire

WARREN – Youths may be responsible for a fire in a vacant house that crews extinguished Saturday afternoon on Union Street, an official said.

Crews were called shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday to the corner of Union Street and Austin Avenue. They discovered a small blaze in the downstairs living room of 1346 Union St. and had it extinguished shortly.

While the rest of the home sustained smoke damage, the fire was contained to the living room.

“It looked like kids got in there and started a fire,” fire Capt. Bill Monrean said.

Monrean said witnesses saw youths there prior to the fire, but they were gone by the time firefighters arrived. Monrean also said it’s not the first time he’s seen that youths set fires inside of vacant buildings, especially lately.

“It’s a vacant house, no locks … there’s one on every block. It’s like a playhouse for these kids,” he said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.