(UPDATED 12:52 AM with fire’s cause)
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
8:09 PM: Firefighters are just starting to arrive at a possible house fire at
34th and Morgan. They’re reporting smoke and flames. We’re en route. Firefighters say the house is boarded up – so at this point, they are fighting it “defensively,” not going in. Westbound traffic is blocked on SW Morgan, so avoid the area.
(This and next two photos by Tony Bradley)
8:16 PM UPDATE: Our crew arriving at the scene says this is not at 34th despite the radio transmission – it’s at 36th and Morgan, a house that has been the source of trouble in the past.
8:24 PM UPDATE: The fire is in the basement. Though initially, noting it was a boarded-up house, firefighters were not going in, they are now searching and so far have not found anyone inside. Traffic at 35th and Morgan, and westward, is blocked. No report of injuries.
8:37 PM UPDATE: Also no sign that anyone had been inside, we are told at the scene. The Fire Marshal is en route to investigate. Meantime, we finally had a moment to dig up the background – it was last October 4th when we first reported that the house had been boarded up, five weeks after neighbor complaints had come to a head with a stolen-property case.
8:54 PM UPDATE: With the fire basically out, they have finished searching the house. Nobody inside. Neighbors tell us they have seen a couple people coming and going recently, though (which as discussed in comments had been noted even after the house was boarded up). The street is likely to open within 45 minutes or so, and authorities are trying to get Metro buses through, since this is on the 128 route.
9:05 PM: Police have just announced via radio that eastbound SW Morgan is reopening.
12:52 AM: SFD says the fire was started by “spontaneous combustion of improperly-disposed-of stain rags,” with damage totaling $30,000.
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