AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - During severe winter weather many homeless people take shelter in abandoned buildings.
The Amarillo Fire Department is warning people about the potential fire hazard of living in these types of buildings.
"If a gust of wind comes through the building, and being in Amarillo this is not uncommon, you risk the possibility of a fire getting out of control," said Bobby Nixon the Assistant Director at Another Chance House. "You put yourself in danger and anyone else around you."
Nearly every year, the fire department responds to call about fires in abandoned buildings including Wednesday morning's fire in which no one was hurt.
"A lot of times they start fires inside these buildings right there on the floor," said Cpt. Larry Davis of the Amarillo Fire Department. "Every year we see them and a lot of times they result in fatalities."
During severe winter weather the Salvation Army loosens its strict substance abuse policies to give people an escape from the cold.
"We then bring down the barriers that might keep some people out at other times," said Major Harvey Johnson with the Salvation Army. "For instance if someone is inebriated or high or off their medications for mental health, we will bring them in to our facility and segregate them from the main population."
The Salvation Army enacts this policy when the temperature gets to 38 degrees or the windchill causes it to feel that cold.
Davis encourages anyone who owns a property with an abandoned building to keep it secure and inaccessible.