A fire at an empty residence on East Bankhead Street early Tuesday may have been caused by a vagrant or other unauthorized person, according to Acting Fire Chief Mark Whitehead.
Firefighters were called to 1026 E. Bankhead St. about midnight after people in the vicinity reported smelling smoke. Crews arrived to find considerable smoke coming from the house, but fire inside was quickly extinguished.
Because the house was vacant and had no active utilities connected, Whiteside called the state fire marshal’s office, which sent representatives to investigate.
“The fire raised some red flags,” Whiteside said. “We think the fire was caused by a candle or some discarded material, but not deliberate.” He added that neighbors thought someone might have been in the house late at nights.
“We have to be really careful and search and re-search to make sure no one’s inside,” he said.
The house, which was believed to be owned by someone out of state, sustained fire damage to two rooms and the attic as well as heavy water and smoke damage.Bankhead Street, Fire, New Albany