House without utilities destroyed by fire leads to questions of blaze’s origin

Published 1:55 pm Monday, May 1, 2023

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Officials are working to investigate the cause of a house fire that destroyed a vacant residence with no working utilities.

Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson said the first of two calls came in at approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday regarding visible flames in the 3100 block of 18th Street.

When leaving Station One, a unit reported seeing a large column of black smoke from Woodworth Boulevard.

Firefighters had subdued the flames within five to 10 minutes. (Courtesy photo)

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On scene, there were heavy flames visible on the back and right side of the building.

Benson said the city was scheduled to demolish the house. No one was found inside.

Flames were extinguished within five to 10 minutes, Benson said, with one crew focusing on the right side of the house, which was threatening a neighboring residence.

“The house to the right suffered some minor damage — two of the windows cracked because the space between the two houses was pretty small and limited,” Benson said.

“The crews did a good job with this. Had they not identified potential exposure to the house next door, that house could have easily been heavily damaged.”

A woman and children were in the neighboring residence at the time.

No injuries were reported from the scene.