A third abandoned building in Brownsville went up in flames early Sunday, prompting residents and authorities to wonder if there is an arsonist setting fire to the buildings.
The latest fire happened sometime after 8 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of West Adams Street in a residential neighborhood.
Deputy Fire Chief David Hinojosa said the house was vacant and police had gone there recently be-cause of activity involving youths.
“We’re concerned about this fire, as we are about the other fires,” Hinojosa said. “We have an arson investigator working on this and the other fires, who will be working very closely to determine the exact cause of these fires.”
Several fire engines and firefighters were sent to the scene to extinguish the fire in the abandoned home, which was destroyed.
“I knew something was going to happen. It usually happens around this time. People are not right that do stuff like that,” said Esperanza Cobos, whose home is next door to the one that burned.
Residents in the neighborhood on the city’s west side stood in disbelief as they watched the home burst into flames and crumble to the ground in a matter of minutes.
Several homeowners said the home and been abandoned for at least four years.
Cobos began to cry as she spoke about how the fence to her house had been destroyed. .
“The fence is gone,” she said as she cuddled a Chihuahua in her arms. “It (the home) had been aban-doned for four years and condemned and they didn’t do anything about it.”
Cobos said she was outside walking her dogs when her husband shouted out to her to call 911. She be-came so nervous that she was hardly able to dial the telephone.
She, her husband and residents that live on the street all stood outside their homes and watched fire-fighters battle the blaze. Her husband watered the roof of their home to prevent the fire from destroying the residence, Cobos said.
This is the fourth fire to occur on the city’s west side since last Monday. On Thursday, a palm tree on West Third and Elizabeth streets was believed to have been set ablaze. The fire spread to the old Model Laundry building, which received some damage.
Earlier in the week, an abandoned home on West Jefferson Street and the old Parra Grocery store, also on West Jefferson, caught fire and were destroyed. The origin of both fires is under investigation.
“We would ask the public to be vigilant at all times and to pay attention to any vacant buildings,” Hinojosa said. “These fires were almost all in vacant buildings and we are asking the public to help us. If someone has a description of any vehicle or individual that may be suspicious, we would greatly appreci-ate them sharing that information by calling the fire department or the police department.”