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Wave of suspicious Troy fires has residents concerned

July 17, 2017 06:41 PM

TROY - Fire erupted inside a vacant home in Troy and authorities say it appears to have been deliberately set.

The fire on Second Avenue early Monday morning was at least the fifth suspicious fire in the city within the last month.

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Fire investigators were going door-to-door on Monday, looking for some answers.

Sources say this fire may have deliberately set and that someone may have used an accelerant. The fire chief would only say that it's suspicious. However, five recent suspicious fires have some residents concerned.

Dywana Cunningham has lived here for years.

"It's scary. Especially if I was home and woke up to that, then I wouldn't know what to do," she admitted.

The house next door went up in flames early Monday morning. Firefighters say the suspicious fire began inside 77 Second Avenue at 102nd Street, which is unoccupied. 

It is the latest in a series of suspicious fires recently in Troy. At least five within the last month -- including one on 102nd and Fifth Avenue last Tuesday and one on July 5 at Fifth Avenue and Northern Drive that spread to a store.

"We have another suspicious fire. We're urging everybody to be alert. If you see something, say something. Keep your lights on in your backyards at night.  Call the police if you see anything suspicious," advised Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett.

These suspicious fires are dangerous. Residents have been concerned about a number of them, mostly in the summer, for years.

"They did the other side of Lansingburgh and now they're on this side of Lansingburgh, so that's scaring a lot of people from coming outside and there's a lot of kids around here," pointed out Cunningham.

The problem of vacant buildings is also a concern and Troy is not alone in that.

"You can go down the city of Troy, look at every block, there's abandoned houses everywhere with 'Xs,' just abandoned," noted Cynthia Fessel of Troy.

A city spokesman says that since January 2016, about 45 vacant buildings have been demolished, 16 by the city or in conjunction with the land bank.

"Up until March, this was owned by JP Morgan Chase and they did nothing with it. They let it fall into disrepair. It's a huge problem for us in the city. The banks don't want to maintain their property," bemoaned Garrett.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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