Another vacant BR house goes up in flames Sunday

Baton Rouge Fire Department investigators believe arson caused a Sunday night fire in a vacant house on Wayne Drive across the street from a Thursday night vacant house fire in which arson has not been ruled out.

Firefighters arrived about 7 p.m. to find the vacant home mostly in flames, Robert Combs, a Fire Department spokesman, said in a news release.

No one was injured in the fire, which took about an hour to control and destroyed the house, Combs said.

Sunday night’s fire marked the fourth reported vacant house fire in four days in Baton Rouge.

Investigators believe a group of homeless people trying to keep warm sparked a blaze that torched a vacant house Friday night in the 600 block of St. Philip Street, just south of the Baton Rouge River Center.

In addition to the Wayne Drive fire Thursday, firefighters battled another vacant house blaze on Jefferson Avenue. No cause has been determined for that fire, but investigators do not suspect arson, Combs said.

The rash of fires have cropped up as overnight temperatures have dipped near or below freezing on several occasions recently, according to National Weather Service readings. Forecasters have said lows will dip into the 10s and 20s overnight Monday and Tuesday.

“If you’re trying to stay warm, just be cautious,” Combs warned Sunday night.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the Wayne Drive fires to contact them at (225) 354-1419 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.