Vacant apartment burns -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Vacant apartment burns

July 1, 2004

Albany -- Investigators say vagrants started a fire that destroyed an empty apartment building in Albany overnight. Now the complex owners have been told to secure their other buildings to prevent more trouble.

 The four-unit apartment building on Swift Street was destroyed by fire that started about 11:30 Wednesday night. The building is part of Swift Court apartments but was boarded up and surrounded by a fence.

 Investigators say drug users and prostitutes are using this building and several other vacant buildings around it. Assistant Fire Chief James Carswell said "Even though it appeared vacant from the outside, we never can assume there is no one inside. So we actually have to put ourselves in harms way to make an entry and search and rescue to eliminate that possibility."

City code enforcement officials gave Swift Court 30 days to secure their vacant buildings to keep vagrants out.

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