2 seen near abandoned home before devastating fire

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020

Port Arthur Firefighters battled what was likely their first blaze of the year at a vacant house Wednesday afternoon.

A view inside one of the rooms of a vacant house at 2615 31st St. that burned down on Wednesday.

In addition, two men were seen in the area when the fire began.

The alarm came in at 3:54 p.m. with the first unit arriving at the house, located at 2615 31st St., three minutes later. The last unit cleared the scene at 5:50 p.m.

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Port Arthur Fire Chief Larry Richard said the house had been vacant since Hurricane Harvey and there were no utilities active to the home.

The house is a total loss and the cause is under investigation.

There is a possible clue.

Witnesses saw two men in the area when the fire started, Richard said.

Anyone with information about the two men or about the fire are asked to call 409-983-8715.

The neighborhood where the fire occurred was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey’s flooding with some homes seeing as much or more than four feet of water. A home next door to the burned one is also empty and has been for some time.

Modest homes, some new, dot the street intermixed with storm-damaged homes.

A detached garage in the back of the 31st Street home did not appear to be damaged.