AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) —- Since December, five properties on Old Savannah Road and Sherman Street have been damaged or destroyed due to a fire. Fire Chief Christopher James will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to address the situation, due to the frequency of the flames.
“It’s happening on a regular basis,” said Dennis Berrin. “For some reason, why, I don’t know, but seem like to me we can’t catch them.”
The Augusta Fire Department is aware that several structure fires have all occurred within a one-block radius of Old Savannah Road and Sherman Street. There is no direct cause behind these fires. However, the fire department’s spokesperson says what these structure fires have in common are, the buildings are abandoned. Some people in the area believe that folks are trying to stay warm in those homes.
“I wouldn’t try to stay warm by setting someone’s place on fire or an empty house,” explained Berrin. “I would ask someone if I could come in and warm up. They can’t go anywhere by setting places on fire.”
Dennis Berrien has lived in the area for about ten years. Like the fire department, Berrien is concerned about the fires spreading to other homes. He told NewsChannel 6 reporter, Devin Johnson, one of those fires happened right across the street from where he lives.
“I love living, and I don’t want to die in a fire,” said Berrin. “It can spread, it could’ve been over here on my door because I did feel the heat.”
The Augusta Fire Department is asking people who live in the neighborhood to alert authorities if they see any suspicious activity. Berrien says the fire department’s recent call to action has him on high alert.
“I wonder about it all the time because I watch tv throughout the morning,” said Berrien. “If it is warm enough, sometimes I come to sit outside. If I see anything going, I will call.”
The Augusta Fire Department’s press conference will begin at 11:00 AM tomorrow, at 1606 Old Savannah Road.