Amarillo Fire Department: Almost half of fires this year caused by ‘reckless arson’

VIDEO-Amarillo Fire Department: Almost half of fires this year caused by ‘reckless arson’
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Since the start of 2022, there has been an increase of fires. The Amarillo Fire Department says there is an average of four fires a day, which is above the norm.

The department has reported 527 fires in the Amarillo area so far. Almost half of these fires have been caused by a juvenile or other individuals.

Most are ruled to be accidents or “reckless arson” caused by space heaters, improper disposal of smoking material, and cooking in abandoned buildings among other various reasons.

The Amarillo Fire Department wants the public to know about safety measures.

“We try to find anywhere and everywhere an avenue to communicate fire safety to anyone in the public that will hear us,” said Jeff Justus, Community Liaison. “Part of the problem is some people don’t pay attention or listen. So we all have to be vigilant about this, and look out for each other and this community.”

Most of the fires that have happened so far, have happened in abandoned homes and businesses according to the fire department.

So far 10 individuals, including three juveniles, have been arrested on counts of arson.

The Amarillo Fire Department says if you see something say something. Reporting a suspicious individual in an abandoned building could prevent a fire.

Other ways to prevent fires include keeping space heaters away from fabric and other flammable materials, disposing of smoking material properly and keeping individuals out of abandoned buildings.

To say up to date, and hear what preventions you can take to help lower the total number of fires, click here.

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